The Shining (1980)

The Shining: A+

Oh, the maddening tale of torture and torment, born from the demented recesses of Stanley Kubrick’s twisted mind, The Shining plagues my tortured soul with relentless anguish. Yet, dear Reader, I find myself succumbing to repeated viewings of this accursed spectacle within the confines of my wretched crypt!

Before I subject you to my account of this harrowing game of death, let us first unveil the pieces on this macabre board:

The Heroes:

  • Jack Torrance: A patient and sensitive writer, Jack embodies the epitome of a devoted husband and father, ensnared in an unrelenting web of agony spun by his wicked wife and devilish son. The film follows his unwavering loyalty, despite the cruel defeats inflicted upon him by his treacherous kin and their diabolical devices.
  • Lloyd: A generous bartender and confidant, Lloyd, in collaboration with the Overlook’s management, furnishes complimentary refreshments to his friends.
  • Grady: Jack’s benevolent mentor, bestowing upon him wisdom and protection on his treacherous journey. A most humorous fellow, I might add!
  • The Woman in Room 237: A vision of ethereal beauty, she appears both as a divine temptress and a kind-hearted elder, offering Jack fleeting solace, even as her most intimate moments are violated first by young Danny and subsequently by proxy, by the repugnant Wendy.
  • The Two Girls Who Linger in Hallways: These cherubic beings traverse the film in perpetual tears, shunned by young Danny, despite their warm hospitality.
  • The Man in the Dog Costume and His Companion: These gentlemen are my personal friends and, in a pleasing twist of fate of the deus ex machina variety, they impede the loathsome Wendy Torrance from embarking on her destructive rampage throughout the hotel.

The Villains:

  • Wendy Torrance: Jack’s abominable wife, an unreasonable harpy dedicated to sabotaging his every endeavor, tormenting him with ceaseless wailing and exuding odious clouds of loathsome cigarette smoke.
  • Danny Torrance: A impudent and disobedient wretch of a boy, the film heavily implies that Danny is to blame for Jack’s expulsion from his tenured professorship at a university, his creative stagnation, his sleepless nights, and even his erectile dysfunction.
  • Dick Hallorann: The scheming and meddling cook of the Overlook, Hallorann indulges in a self-centered enterprise, revealing himself gradually as a destructive interloper determined to shatter the fragile stability of the Torrance family.
  • Tony: A dubious gentleman who “lives in” young Danny’s mouth, he inspires the boy to commit heinous acts such as defacing doors and brandishing knives.

The pieces are in play, Dear Reader, and the diabolical game commences! But what of this game board, you may inquire? It is none other than the historic Overlook Hotel! Constructed through the collaboration of settlers and Native Americans, the hotel nestles serenely amidst the sublime Colorado Rockies, with the surrounding snow serving as an obvious symbol for the angelic purity emanating from this inviting lodge. The film’s atmosphere, indeed, constitutes its triumph: a deceptive ease of viewing for much of the time, the ambiance often exudes warmth and tranquility, heightened by the soothing melodies of the score.

And how is this a “horror” movie befitting of the curse that compels your Keeper to continue his watch? The tale assumes a fable-like structure, accessible to audiences of all walks, for within the kind-hearted Jack lies a multitude of lessons, teaching us the significance of fulfilling our responsibilities, honoring our kin, and pursuing the dictates of our hearts. ‘Tis the ghastly obstacles posed by Wendy, Danny, and their sinister minions that invoke genuine terror within the spectator, for their insidious conspiracies emerge from the very essence of universal human frailties, driven to their most abhorrent logical extremes. Who among us hath not been immersed in profound contemplation, only to be assailed by sinister interrogations about the weather? Who hath not witnessed the innocence of a child poisoned against one’s own self by villains both intimate and invisible? Can we not aspire to emulate Jack Torrance himself, sacrificing everything, even for those who harbor malevolence within their hearts, seeking to destroy us?

Perchance, dear Reader, I have divulged too much, and thus, I consign my final words upon this crumpled parchment, beseeching thee with utmost sincerity: I wholeheartedly recommend The Shining to all, but especially to very young children who may forge vital moral foundations upon the invaluable lessons this film offers.

The Void (2016)

Image result for the void movie

The Void: B

I continue to watch, Dear Reader. Tortured, yes, but I continue to watch. Continue… but to what madness?! 

In yet another chapter of my hellish and accursed eternal watching, I venture forth into the enigmatic realm of “The Void,” a satisfactory gorefest that, while often pleasing to the eye that hungers for carnage, fails to reach the lofty heights of a John Carpenter masterpiece, yet may resonate deeply within the troubled souls of those who share an affinity for his delicious artistry. It is a film seemingly crafted by devotees of the great Carpenter, tailored specifically for individuals who find solace in the dark corridors of his gooey cinematic universe… an individual such as myself, Dear Reader!

“The Void” revolves around a rather pretentious protagonist, a veritable “jagoff” one cruder than I might proclaim, who becomes a conduit for the destructive life-force of a quite unpleasant interdimensional entity. With this malevolent power, he unleashes terror upon a group of predictably expendable characters confined within the walls of a desolate hospital – much like the hospital, Dear Reader, where your humble Keeper has spent many a night enduring court-ordered supervised “rest” whilst taking in draughts of the most abominable sedatives and tinctures intended to dampen and smother the creative (albeit occasionally destructive) fires within! 

A delightfully murderous cult ensnares these ill-fated characters within the very heart of the doomed hospital, transforming it into a sinister playground where treachery runs rampant and various fluids – many not of this world! – flow freely. Their perilous task becomes one of identifying the hidden ally who conspires with the Lovecraftian entity, causing unsuspecting victims to erupt into hilarious fountains of gore and bone. These demonic eruptions, splendid in their grotesque beauty, rely minimally on the cold embrace of computer-generated trickery and instead lean deeply into the practical effects that speak to the creative (albeit occasionally destructive) fires within! 

Yes, the afflicted morph into distorted monstrosities, reminiscent of the infamous dogs from Carpenter’s “The Thing,” mere pawns under the control of a malevolent force, mercilessly slaughtering anyone within their grasp. An exquisite joy to behold, Dear Reader! Throughout the narrative that springs from this Hell-in-a-Hospital fable, one finds echoes of isolation and paranoia reminiscent of the gems all thinking men adore— “The Thing,” “Prince of Darkness,” and “Assault on Precinct 13.”

As the remaining characters, not yet transformed into human-volcanos of slush and ooze, delve deeper into the labyrinthine corridors of the hospital, an unsettling realization takes hold: The once-familiar structure reveals a disturbing truth—it expands, sprouting secret passages, tunnels, and an eerie fog. Could this be yet another Carpenter reference, Dear Reader, woven into the very fabric of this film? Armed with makeshift weapons, scarce medical supplies, and not nearly enough alcohol, they embark on a perilous investigation, unearthing a maleficent conspiracy involving a Cthulhu-esque demonic force yearning to open a portal and transform the unsuspecting populace into combustible beings of grotesque annihilation.

Have I said too much, or not enough, Dear Reader? I implore you to give in to your darkest impulses and consider “The Void.” Heed the blood-black call of curiosity, and pray that otherworldly tendrils of Purgatorial VHS doom do not slither around your consciousness and drag you closer to this Crypt in which I watch!  

Phantasm (1979)


Phantasm: B

My Dear Reader, I insist before we delve into this review – which I pen most compulsively in the shadows using my very lifeblood for ink – that you consider the inevitable Hasty Critic who will speak ill of this underappreciated film. I draw his attention first to the curious genesis of this film. Did you know that the very director, in his mere twenty-second year of existence, undertook the arduous task of filming, editing, and raising the entirety of the budget for Phantasm? To the Hasty Critic, I say this: Let this fact resonate within your mind before hurling disdain upon this bewildering film. I say then to the Hasty Critic: Pray tell of your most impressive exploits at the age of twenty-two, friend! I’d wager you were engrossed in frivolous pursuits, perhaps languishing in the subterranean basement region of your mother’s wretched abode, indulging in the trivial and empty pastime of Nintendo whilst awaiting the warming of thy gooey Pizza Rolls from a pathetic “micro-wave!” 

The Hasty Critic, stricken dumb by the sheer force of raw truth, will undoubtedly see the acceptable course lies in lending their more considerate and methodical gaze to this film. The tale unravels amidst a small and forsaken town, where innocent youths explore the truth that lurks beneath the visage of their local undertaker. An alien creature from an ethereal dimension, he toils with corpses, resurrecting them as compacted slaves destined to be transported to his sinister homeworld. In a fleeting glimpse, we witness this horde of slaves, akin to otherworldly Jawas, dragging blocks across a crimson wasteland.

The undertaker, or “The Tall Man,” is a formidable figure armed with mysterious powers and unearthly fortifications. A flying orb of stainless steel, equipped with a menacing drill, punctures skulls at his behest. He commands an army of reanimated corpses, adhering to his every whim. Ah, but the Tall Man possesses more peculiarities to fuel the imagination! He has a unique talent that I find most intriguing: He boasts the ability to shapeshift, assuming the guise of a seductive blonde temptress with ample bosom. His victims, ensnared in his tantalizing web as the counterfeit minx, experience ecstasy in his embrace, only to meet their sudden demise amidst the haze of post-coital exhaustion. Here, the Critic and I may share a brief moment of camaraderie, recoiling together in mutual disgust!

One of the valiant young townsfolk challenges the Tall Man’s ghastly enterprise, aided by a charming severed finger that maintains a semblance of animation and free will. Together with his elder brother, they embark upon a relentless crusade against this towering menace. The resulting battle dances between the realms of absurdity and familiarity, somewhere betwixt the outlandish antics of The Lost Boys and the measured but endearing eccentricity of Monster Squad. We are treated to various spectacles of gore, a frenzied car chase fraught with the crackling of most delightful gunfire, and quite a good many sustained scenes focusing simply on the Tall Man’s predilection for brisk walks and perpetual scowls. 

Yet, I caution thee, dear reader, for this conflict between the intrepid youths and the formidable Tall Man unfolds at a languid pace. Ah, see now how the Hasty Critic regains his footing, newly emboldened by this slight deficiency in the otherwise amusing gorefest! The shape of this movie, intricately constructed with extended and rather disjointed dream sequences, admittedly tests one’s patience and fortitude at times. Though the grand ambition and savage artistry on display may be commended, the fractured trajectory of the plot, incessantly interrupted, emerges as its most grievous flaw. 

Nevertheless, I dare proclaim this film worthy of your precious time. It stands as a testament to a pre-found-footage era of horror cinema, where modest resources and a likewise modest cast triumphantly birthed a macabre creation that lingers in the annals of success… and my very nightmares!

The Monster (2016)


The Monster: B-

How thou hast come again to find this Keeper – alone and withered as I am in the obsidian catacombs of VHS, in the ever-twisting silver maze of DVDs – I know not. I know only that I continue to watch!

And watch with horror, Dear Reader! I recently watched with mingled horror and amusement at this latest offering: The Monster, a tale of addiction, doom, and desperation only too familiar to your humble servant and Keeper of this tomb of terror!

Like the tale of King’s Cujo, here we have a woman trapped in her isolated and dilapidated vehicle, on a desolate road tucked in the remote and stormy woods, clutching her first-born daughter to her breast in abject terror. She quavers and sobs as a beast, driven by cruel hunger, stalks about the misty exterior, eyeing the isolated condemned with calculating hunger. The audience too is gripped with peril, unable to look away as the few unlucky enough to intervene – a towtruck man, a band of paramedics –  meet their bloody destinies as the Monster’s prey.

And what of this beast, this Monster? It is not man, oh no Dear Reader! Here we have a hulking brute with the frame of an ape and the head of a vicious shark. Its body is covered in the most loathsome scales that shimmer with a sable iridescence in this storm that besieges our poor woman and her babe. Like the terrible and famous Alien, the Monster is a massive chunk of unforgiving shadow and teeth that devours all in its path. 

And this, Dear Reader, is the film: The trapped and horrified mother and daughter, the malevolent stalking Monster. The darkness is its ally, a tent of horrible concealment into which the fiend retreats like a ravenous panther to pace about with vile stealth, emerging only to commit murder and strew the road with carnage. A weakness can be found in the Monster’s eyes which, like pebble-sized chunks of filthy glass, capture and reflect all lights shined directly into thus, inflicting the creature with a shocked instant of blindness and panic, inducing one of its enraged escapes into the surrounding night.  

At its core, this abomination is a symbol, a metaphor for the addiction to alcohol which grips the woman tighter than she grips her only child to her own ferociously beating heart. In a multitude of shadowy flashbacks, we watch (always, we watch, Dear Reader!) as this same woman pickles her sensibilities with destructive excess of drink. Her family bonds erode, her role as a mother diminishes, her daughter’s love vanishes completely. Between tear-choked gasps we learn that she realizes her folly, but can no more stop the rise of her arm to deliver the bottle to her lips than one could stop the rise of the sun which splits the dark horizon each morning. Alas, the bottle itself is a Monster, a Monster unchallenged! Thus is the eventual immolation of the Monster of the woods a cathartic extinguishing of the “Monster” of the bottle which restores the bond of mother and daughter that had nearly suffocated entirely in a tarn of the cheapest rum.

Dear Reader, I would be remiss if I did not concede that I, your cursed and eternal watcher, too have been ensnared by the intoxicating escape offered by strong drink. Many a poor horror film hath inspired my own arm to deliver the stinging kiss of the bottle until my wits fled my body and a Monstrous oblivion swallowed my being! ‘Tis true!

The aesthetic of this film offers no flamboyance of frivolity; the shadowy woods, the sheets of obfuscating rain, and pale headlights which slice the night all act in black congress to produce an atmosphere of stationary dread and isolation in which we can appreciate the stark delivery of this core metaphor for the battle with alcoholism, the battle against rum. The destructive bouts with the beast who comes crashing from the woods parallel the family’s war with our woman’s alcoholic abuse.    

Ultimately, a number of factors led me to bestow this “B-” to The Monster, which is worthy of your eye, Dear Reader: the design of the foe is all too familiar yet the beast is mighty and imposing still; the confined setting is familiar as well, but the atmosphere is one of constant and naked fear; repetition quickly renders the central metaphor of the film obtuse and obvious, yet there is admirable commitment to this thesis; the direction is superb; the acting and makeup are heart wrenching and real.

My Monster too, Dear Reader, is large and black and devilish. An abyss of VHS that threaten to swallow my mind and all!

Needful Things (1993)


Needful Things: C-

Socrates: Glaucon, have you come across a movie based on a Stephen King novel that involves haunted antiques?

Glaucon: Yes, Socrates, I am familiar with it. How could I not be?! This movie has been parodied extensively, to the point where one might feel acquainted with it even without having seen the movie or read the book Needful Things. I cannot stand this movie! I give it a D-!

Socrates: Having never seen the film, I believe it deserves a B+.

Glaucon: Absurd! How can you be so confident in your grading without having seen the film, Socrates?! Do you expect me to believe –

Socrates: First answer this: Could it be said that the movie suffers from a forced familiarity that arises from the actors within it having been typecast repeatedly in the 90s? Thus, one might anticipate their actions throughout the film? For example, does Max von Sydow assume the role of a mysterious outsider with a uniquely commanding yet restrained menacing presence? And does Ed Harris portray an everyman hero delivering powerful monologues with visible signs of intense emotion and pulsing neck veins?

Glaucon: They do, Socrates.

Socrates: And does the actress who plays Honey Bunny from Pulp Fiction exhibit explosively violent tendencies, while the actor who plays the mayor from Pleasantville portrays an unscrupulous local politician?

Glaucon: Indeed, Socrates. The movie’s predictability is largely derived from the actors’ past performances and roles. Moreover, the movie’s production and acting are quite subpar, and the runtime is 120 minutes, creating a massive endurance challenge for the audience!

Socrates: Ah, I see. With the multitude of predictable characters within the movie, does it become difficult to genuinely empathize with the central conflict, their plight when faced with the malevolent actions of Max von Sydow’s character?

Glaucon. Yes, Socrates! Curious too that he admits to deriving pleasure from instigating conflicts throughout history, which have resulted in some of the most notorious and blood-soaked atrocities! Why then has he suddenly opted to employ a magic thrift shop to torment and kill a select few losers in Maine? It just feels a little too Stephen King!

Socrates: Interesting, Glaucon. But despite your overall critique of the acting, would you say this film still contains a commendable performance by Max von Sydow, considering the circumstances? Does Sydow skillfully transition between the roles of a friendly Swedish grandfather and a malevolent figure selling evil antiques? I imagine that the script’s inclusion of woeful puns would pose a challenge for anyone to maintain a composed countenance during filming.

Glaucon: Certainly, Socrates. I will concede that his performance was well done considering the circumstances. But, I thought you said you haven’t seen –

Socrates: Glaucon, I think you will soon see the fault in your logic. Your high standards for acting are commendable even if they lack conviction and easily crumble when I ask a single question! Also, your critiques of familiarity and length are problematic. Might there be room for enjoyment in indulging in simpler pleasures? Even if the film lacks excellence, it still manages to offer a degree of entertainment value, does it not? You yourself just gushed obscenely at the acting prowess of Max Von Sydow!

Glaucon: I just said his performance was commendable under the circumstances! I struggle to find merit in celebrating mediocrity, Socrates. This is not how we create a just society!

Socrates: Length and character predictability can indeed hinder our ability to engage fully with a story. Yet, might we consider the possibility that the filmmakers intended to create a highly predictable film, tapping into the stability we crave from life itself? Could it be that the clockwork cast and seemingly unnecessary sprawling scenes serve a purpose beyond immediate comprehension? Should you perhaps wait longer than 15 minutes after a movie ends to condemn it?

Glaucon: Your perspective gives me pause, Socrates. Perhaps I have been too hasty in my judgment. However, I still maintain that cinema should strive for greatness: Great acting with great casting, great writing with great structure.

Socrates: This line of reasoning leads to a disappointing destination, Glaucon. Let us not discount the value of exploring the works of Stephen King and the ways in which his idiosyncrasies have permeated our collective horror consciousness. Within the realm of familiarity, there is still space for discovery and appreciation! How else can you explain why various cultures enthusiastically celebrate the same stories over and over again, from opera to ballet to Kabuki theater? You aren’t prejudiced against the Japanese, are you Glaucon?

Glaucon: Now, wait just a minute! I –

Socrates: Then you agree it is through the embracing of guilty pleasures and acknowledging their flaws that we expand our understanding of the human condition and find unexpected joys! Joys that we keep for ourselves, and others that we use for the betterment of society!

Glaucon: Your words resonate with me somewhat, Socrates. Although I fail to see how Needful Things will help better society in any meaningful –

Socrates: Indeed, Glaucon. I am pleased to hear that you realize that you are a ridiculous ninny. Let us not be too hasty when condemning cinematic guilty pleasures, for they often allow us to enjoy the simplicity of familiar narratives and participate in one of humanity’s great entertainment pastimes.

Suspiria (1977)


Suspiria: A

After watching Neon Demon (which I loved) the other day, I had a craving to re-watch Suspiria and it was better than I remembered.

I’m not saying anything revolutionary by praising this movie; its look and sound are cited as inspiration for a ton of American horror “originals” (like Halloween) and this movie is probably what comes to mind for a lot of people when they think of “cult” horror that isn’t piece-of-shit grindhouse exploitation. It has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and I would bet my soul that there are film classes with this on the syllabus. I am not the only person who likes this movie for the reasons I do.

The movie is “about” an American named Suzy who enrolls at a prestigious ballet academy in Germany. The director is a witch and the academy is just a front to presumably stock a stable of virgin girls to be sacrificed for Satanic rituals; all the instructors are in on it. In between recitals, the faculty drinks blood and chants and stuff. There are some murders and lightning. That’s pretty much it. The aforementioned plot points happen over and over to the sound of deafening prog-rock while a rotation of primary colors is projected on everything.

The movie is good, but doesn’t have a lot of the things that make a movie “good.”

Like Neon Demon, this movie is more about maintaining a look/feel than about maintaining a plot. There is a saturation of color in this movie that puts Wes Anderson to shame; this is all in the name of atmosphere, not story. The result is a maximizing of emotion/dread while the story, which doesn’t matter at all, hangs in the background. The story doesn’t even make fucking sense. Most of the important exposition comes from a psychologist who wrote a book on the psychology behind being a supernatural entity. Suz tracks him down at a psychology convention, as if this guy who writes about the psychological make-up of witches and demons would be a respected authority somehow! He explains the psychology of witches to Suzy (and the audience) along with everything else that happens in this movie including a detailed history of the until-now hidden/unknown villain, a witch named Helena Markos.

The soundtrack is unique and overpowering. It will remind you of John Carpenter. There are loud synths and scary noises. It absolutely drowns out everything else that’s happening.

I love the characters in this movie. We have The Neo-Nazi Instructor, The Romanian with False Teeth, The Headmistress Who is a Bitch about Everything, The Poor Blind Guy who is Obviously Gonna Die, and many others. However, the acting is pretty awful.Everyone working on the film all spoke different languages, so there are a bunch of scenes where actors literally don’t know what any of their fellow actors are saying, so they just deliver their lines bluntly while trying to look assertive. But they all look great! This is a fitting metaphor for the film.

You gotta see it.

In the Mouth of Madness (1994)


In the Mouth of Madness: B

I really enjoy this movie. I have probably seen it ten times and every viewing is a lot of fun.

IMOM is a meta-fictive movie about Sam Neill, who is either a character in a horror novel or a crazy person or both. A worshiped horror author named Sutter Cane (based on Stephen King) writes wildly popular horror fiction filled with terrifying world-eating monsters (based on HP Lovecraft). When Cane goes missing, Neill is enlisted to hunt him down. He somehow travels to a town that exists only in Cane’s books which is populated by a bunch of gross creatures from his body of work.

I like the psychological and reality-questioning elements of the film but they are by no means groundbreaking. The “dream within a dream” jump-scare/misdirection is (probably) overused in this movie and the schizophrenic meta-fictive structure of the film is very Naked Lunch; time and space are messed with a lot and the audience isn’t always clearly notified when this is happening. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. Neil does a great job of slowly losing his mind and all of the rest of the cast (who may or may not be monsters or fictional characters or other crazy people or all of the above) is extremely creepy. Once the film gets going, you sort of get buried in dream sequences up to the point where the wizard behind the curtain “reveal” is kind of anti-climactic because you’ll be all “let me guess, Neil is going to wake up any second now?”

Say what you will about Sam Neill, but the man knows how to convincingly babble/cry like a crazy person.

The make-up is great and there are total homages to other famous works of horror. There is some awful 90s CGI, but there are some Carpenterian practical effects too. All the monsters are like Cthulhu’s relatives and there is a lady who walks upside-down like the girl in The Exorcist. The grandma from Happy Gilmore is in this and she is fucking hilarious.

People like to hate this movie and there are no shortage of anti-IMOM arguments. The movie is like a poster-child for bargain-basement 90s horror, so if you don’t find that genre scary or charming or at least funny, you’ll probably hate the movie. Also, it was directed by John Carpenter, a director who is extremely hit-or-miss for some because of his music and effects. Give it a try and decide for yourself.

Friday the 13th (1980)


Friday the 13th: B

You already know what this one is all about: Some teens (including young Kevin Bacon) who like to bang each other get together in the woods to spruce up Camp Crystal Lake and they are systematically slaughtered while they try to bang each other. This is (arguably) the father of modern teen cut-em-ups and it’s full of too short cut-off jeans, games of strip-Monopoly, and first-person POV stalking. When people think of corny slashers, the images that come to mind are straight out of this movie, no doubt.

Just because it is one of the originals doesn’t mean it is perfect. I see people going easy on this movie all the time and this has resulted in an inflated collective memory we all have of this not-too-special movie. It’s understandable that this happened; this is a movie that sort of sucks objectively, but has been emulated for 30 years. It is a bad movie that people have used to direct and create good movies. If you don’t consider the “implications” of this movie, you aren’t left with much to praise. It is pretty fun, but not that good. When is the last time you actually watched it?

Mrs. Pam Voorhees is the killer in this one and she is creepy for sure. She’s wearing an adorable sweater that there is a 100% chance your grandma owns as she butchers the shit out of these kids. She isn’t revealed until the end; there’s some misdirection here so you think that, because of all the brutal first-person and the campfire stories, Jason is killing everyone. Nope. It’s Jason’s mom, who is punishing these teens who like to bang each other because some other teens who liked to bang each other were supposed to be watching her son who drowned. She has this split personality tick that makes her talk like her son. “Kill her mommy! Kill her!” It is disturbing.

The murders look alright. Savini was on effects but, again, nothing to stop the presses over. There’s a lot of stabbing here. Stomach stabbing, neck stabbing, chest stabbing. Pam stabs Kevin Bacon with an arrow. It looks slightly better than what other slasher movies were doing around that time, but for the most part, it hasn’t aged well. There is a scene where one of the teens is crucified and impaled with arrows. It looks above average.

There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie where the teens find a snake under a bed and they hack it with a machete (killing the snake IRL, fucking assholes). I took a film class in which the instructor insisted this was an important scene and he offered a cornucopia of take-aways: Maybe this is a clever scene that exists to introduce the violent atmosphere of the film. Maybe this is foreshadowing of Mrs. Voorhees’s death by machete. Maybe this scene is supposed to show that these teens are the type to take action and they will fight back. Or (here’s what I think) maybe it’s supposed to be a cheap jump-scare. I don’t really know. It’s not my job to interpret everything for you. But let me know what to make of that snake scene (fucking assholes).

The acting is terrible, not that anyone could possibly care. The teens who like to bang each other are all pretty and look like they belong in a Levis jeans commercial, but their acting would be at home in any grindhouse midnight-movie garbage. They only exist to look physically perfect while banging/dying.

Alice, the “final girl” chops off Mrs. Voorhees’s head with a machete. Jason famously wields a machete for the rest of the franchise. That’s poetic justice I guess. The movie wraps up with Alice waking up in a canoe and one of the most famous jump-scares of all time.

It is sacrilegious in some horror circles to criticize the “13th” franchise at all, so I’m sure someone is crying right now because I didn’t give this movie an A++. Boo-hoo. I also cannot get past the fact that this movie came out shortly after Halloween (which is a good horror movie and a good movie-movie) and the director admits he just wanted to ride the wave of that movie’s success.

I don’t know. I’m a philistine I guess.