This week, Paul’s Trip to the Movies is all about the upcoming holiday….Halloween of course!
HALLOWEEN (theatrical release)
It’s been forty years since the masked killer Michael Myers killed a bunch of babysitters on Halloween night. Since that night he’s been held at Smith’s Grove penitentiary. Laurie Strode, his lone survivor, continues to live in Haddonfield, IL waiting for his arrival someday. She has prayed for his escape so she can kill him. On this fortieth anniversary of that fateful night, two British podcasters have visited Michael at Smith’s Grove hoping to get him to talk. They present him with his infamous mask hoping to conjure up that rage and anger inside of him. Indeed it does as he manages to escape during a prisoner transport. He sets his eyes on Laurie Strode, her daughter, and granddaughter. She’s a victim of trauma now battling those inner demons of suspicion and paranoia. That being said, she’s ready for him.
-Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton
-This film brings back many familiar names in the cast and crew who were involved with the original film from 1978. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, Original Michael Myers actor Nick Castle plays him again, and John Carpenter who created the movie is back as composer, producer, and advisor on this one.
-This serves as a direct sequel to the original movie. It completely disregards every sequel along the way, even the ones starring Jamie Lee Curtis. It helps keep this story as simple and direct as possible.
-Jamie Lee Curtis has made Laurie a survivor of violence and trauma. This version of the character really resonates in the #MeToo movement as we see the effects it has had on her and the generations of her family over the last forty years. We see how trauma can affect, not only the survivor, but the people and community around them.
-Director David Gordon Green takes his time to allow the audience to know and care for these characters before he starts in on the jump scares and shocking moments.
-There are some good full-throttle screams in this one. David Gordon Green knows that simplicity works best with this story and utilizes what made the first one so iconic. Michael’s slow walking and heavy breathing, the use of lighting and shadow effects making you wonder what we see in the dark, John Carpenter’s new score plays on his original themes and adds that extra eerie vibe to it.
-If you’re a fan of the original, you will definitely notice a bunch of callbacks and references to that movie. In a way it represents how, despite life progressing in forty years, some things remain the same in this suburban community all these years later.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? The best sequel in the film’s 11 movie franchise.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
MARCUS THEATERS OCTOBER FRIGHT NIGHT SERIES
Playing through the end of the month at these participating cinemas
Southbridge Crossing Cinema (Shakopee)
All tickets are $5
IT (2017) 0ctober 18-20
-Based on the Stephen King book and feels in tune with how Stephen King shapes his characters. Unlike the book and 1990 mini-series, this film does not go back and forth between the two timelines. It focuses only on the kid’s timeline and will save the Losers Club as adults for the second movie.
-Bill Skarsgard is frightening as Pennywise. It’s a very different kind of take on the character than what Tim Curry did in the mini-series. There are more visual effects used this time around which takes away from the “realism” that made Tim Curry’s Pennywise so scary.
-Set in 1988 and 1989, taking on that Stranger Things vibe which was actually inspired by Stephen King. Could also be thought of as a dark, grim version of Stand By Me or The Goonies.
-The strength and bond between the friends is the focus of the film as opposed to just making it about a scary clown. You grow to really feel for what they’re going through knowing they’re all they have in this small town.
– One of the best King adaptations in decades.
THE EXORCIST (1973) – October 25-27
Starring: Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller
-Nominated for 10 Oscars and Won 2 Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay for William Peter Blatty based on his book and Best Sound. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn), Support Actor (Jason Miller) Supporting Actress (Linda Blair), Best Director (William Friedkin), Cinematography, Art Direction, Film Editing
-The book by William Peter Blatty was inspired by the 1949 exorcism of Roland Doe.
-The set was believed to be haunted, as there were many accidents on set, cast members were injured due to the practical effects used, and one actor died shortly after filming his scenes.
-Remains one of the scariest movies to date given the shocking nature of its subject matter of a little girl possessed by devil, and it’s really up to the audience to believe if that can happen or not.
-At the time it conjured up controversy and boycotts given its look at Catholicism and devil possession
HOCUS POCUS (home release pick)
-Starring: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thora Birch, Omri Katz
-Originally called “The Halloween House” Was intended as a darker and scarier movie in its original concept
-Celebrating its 25th anniversary with a reunion special/concert “Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash” Saturday, October 20th on Freeform. All-day marathon on Halloween
-The cast still has great adoration for this movie and their experience working together. Bette Midler has stated this is her favorite movie of hers.
-Has become a cult classic since its release spawning drag brunches, bar crawls for my generation who grew up on this movie. It continues to grow new fandom with each Halloween, partly because its family friendly, witches are timeless characters, and it’s instantly quotable given the over-the-top performances by Midler, Najimy, and Parker.