Tag Archives: Halloween

Film Review: Stephen King’s Children of the Corn (1984) HORRORATHON 3

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Film: Children of the Corn (1984)
Reviewed by: Freekz80

Children. Sharp objects. Corn fields. Combine those three with a hatred for adults and you’ve got Children of the Corn!  Directed by Fritz Kiersch, this great 80s horror flick combines a strange and unconventional premise with the good ol’ creepiness of children.

Burt (Peter Horton) and girlfriend Vicky (Linda Hamilton) are travelling across the country to Seattle, Washington, for Burt’s new job. On the way, they accidentally hit a boy on the highway in Nebraska, who happens to be from the nearby town of Gatlin. They end up travelling through Gatlin, which turns out to be mysteriously devoid of adults. There, they encounter the local population of children, who don’t seem very welcoming. Burt and Vicky soon learn that the children worship a deity called “He Who Walks Behind The Rows”, a demonic deity inhabiting the corn fields surrounding Gatlin. But unfortunately for Burt and Vicky, He Who Walks Behind The Rows requires that the children of Gatlin sacrifice all adults passing through…

Pros:

Personally, I felt that most of the child actors were surprisingly decent. Though, its hard to believe that giving children the opportunity to run around brandishing sharp weapons wouldn’t make them pretty enthusiastic. In addition, the overall atmosphere of the film is pretty alien and captivating. A town completely devoid of adults? Interesting. What motivates so many children to kill innocent people? It definitely provided that creepy cult feeling, even if it was a little cheesy.

Isaac, the painfully obnoxious (if I hate him so much, he must be a good actor!) leader of the cult.
Isaac, the painfully obnoxious (if I hate him so much, he must be a good actor!) leader of the cult.

Cons: 

I didn’t feel like there was a particular moment in the movie that made me say “Wow!”. While I remained interested, I was expecting the climax to deliver a far more interesting motive for the children’s blood lust. Also, in general I felt there were decent performances across the board, but some of the choreography in the fight scenes looked a bit awkward and hard to follow. However, if one can accept the film’s cheesier scenes, this shouldn’t drain much from the film’s entertainment value.

I suppose worshiping corn is somewhat acceptable.
I suppose worshiping corn is somewhat acceptable.

Final Score: 7/10

Good

While straining a bit on the believability level, Children of the Corn remains one of the more disturbing films from the 80s. Cultist Children? Evisceration? Human Sacrifice? This controversial and creepy horror flick should definitely be watched at least once.

Film Review: Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) HorrorAthon 3

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Directed by:  Genndy Tartakovsky

Voice Cast: Adam Sandler. Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez. Kevin James

Reviewed by: Brendan Graham (Phantomhour)

The Halloween season isn’t always about blood and gore, and scary surprises, sometimes we all want some good fun the whole family can enjoy, and that’s where today’s review comes in. The first Hotel Transylvania was a funny and playfully spooky romp into Transylvania and a hotel for monsters, but how well does the premise work in the sequel?

Continue reading Film Review: Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015) HorrorAthon 3

HORRORATHON Film Review: Trick R Treat (2009)

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Starring: Anna Paquin, Bryan Cox, and Dylan Baker

Directed by: Michael Doughterty

Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

There are many movies about the night of Halloween, some of them are party movies, some of them are animated specials. For the horror fan, your choices are huge, but many fail to muster the feelings of joy and terror that Halloween is known for. Well folks, here is the movie you were looking for.

Continue reading HORRORATHON Film Review: Trick R Treat (2009)

HORRORATHON Film Review: The Houses October Built (2014)

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Starring: Brandy Schaefer, Zach Andrews, Bobby Roe

Directed by: Bobby Roe

Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

Every October, Millions of people from all over the world visit haunted attractions in order to find the perfect scare. Everyone is looking for a bigger, better and more realistic scare, and so every year haunts come up with new ways to horrify. What happens when a haunt goes too far?

Continue reading HORRORATHON Film Review: The Houses October Built (2014)

HORRORATHON Film Review: Saw (2004)

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Directed by: James Wan

Starring: Tobin Bell, Cary Elwes, Leigh Whannell, Danny Glover

“I want to play a game.”

Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Saw ripped it’s way into theaters? 10 years. Does it still stand the test of time? Or has it lost it’s power after seven films in a franchise that grew tired and dull?

Continue reading HORRORATHON Film Review: Saw (2004)

Horrorathon Game Review: Slender: The Arrival (2013)

slender-the-arrival-walkthroughReview by: Freekz80 (Blake Mickatavage)

He’s a paranormal entity that’s been running laps around the internet for ages now. Some might say he’s become so popular, that he’s even become meme-like. Never the less, the tireless, faceless hunter returns in Slender: The Arrival.

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What a lovely residence, right? Well, it’s vacant!

Made popular by chilling stories on the SomethingAwful forums, Slender Man first made his debut in the gaming world through “Slender: The Eight Pages“. The indie horror title was free and simple yet quite frightening, and enjoyed huge success. This success resulted in the development of a more complex and intriguing game that offers just as much in the scare department while also providing a somewhat immersing story experience. Enter “Slender: The Arrival“.

The game begins with the player (Lauren) making their way through a brightly lit forest, headed toward her friend Kate’s home. Why? Kate has gone missing and nobody is quite sure what happened to her. As the player approaches the home, the seemingly warm and embracing woods steadily become dark and menacing, and you instinctively take refuge in the home. After arming yourself with a flashlight, you begin to play detective and search for clues as to what happened to Kate. Unfortunately (but expected, of course) you are forced to leave the home and enter the darkness that awaits, and thus begin your encounters with the Slender Man and his proxies.

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Slender Man isn’t the only one looking for a piece of you.

If there is one thing Slender: The Arrival does well (and many of you may expect this due to experiences with The Eight Pages) it’s jump scares. Other than a completely optional encounter in the woods, no scares are scripted and this definitely keeps the player on their toes at all times. In addition to this, atmosphere and immersion are really well done in this game. When playing in the darkness with a headset (preferably surround sound), you really feel as if you are a part of the game and the sense of hopelessness is profound. You will pay attention to every breath and every step Lauren takes, and any small noise outside of that will cause a spike in your heart rate. This, combined with the dreadful knowledge that you are always being pursued yet have no idea where your pursuer lies, makes the inevitable jump scares that much stronger. As I mentioned earlier, The Arrival also gives much more story and background than The Eight Pages does, enough to keep the player relatively interested in the progression of events.

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Of course, as with most games there are negatives. Besides a plot that actually exists, a lot of the good things about this game were also good things about The Eight Pages. While a refreshing take on the original game, it is not a new or innovative experience. Many of the primary objectives are simply The Eight Pages rehashed; Find x pages, turn on x generators, all while being pursued. Not that this wasn’t expected with a sequel, but this was also a flaw of the original game; it gets repetitive quickly. Similar to Phantomhour’s opinion of Five Nights at Freddy’s, fear can soon grow into frustration. Despite new, visually appealing environments and a mildly interesting story, I did eventually lose interest in the game, and couldn’t bring myself to complete it. That being said, even if you’ve bested The Eight Pages, I can assure you that The Arrival will give you a frightening experience for a while. Personally, I feel that picking this game up for $4.99 during a Steam sale was absolutely worth it, and I would say that the current price of $9.99 is reasonable for this horror game. Any more is a bit of a stretch.

All things considered, Slender: The Arrival gets an overall respectable 7/10 and is definitely worth adding to the horror game enthusiast’s collection.

Fear: 9/10. Immersion, pursuit, and jump scares. All very well done. Near perfect, but I knocked off a point because the scares do eventually get repetitive and frustrating.

Beware: Creepy, disfigured children, dark forests, abandoned homes, flashlights, and of course, Slender Man.

Good

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: Halloween (1978) HORRORATHON

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Reviewed by: Phantomhour (Brendan Graham)

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without mentioning John Carpenter’s Magnum Opus of the slasher film genre, so it’s naturally a good fit to review this sucker on Halloween. It’s been 35 Years since Michael Myers was released upon the public, and since then the horror genre has changed around quite a bit. Does the original still bring the fear today? In this reviewer’s opinion, it still does.

If you don’t know the story by now, you’ve been living under a rock, and since it’s a slasher film, I’d rather leave the story a surprise.

Suburbia has never been so frightening.
Suburbia has never been so frightening.

What Works: Where to start with this classic gem, how about the performances? They are not cookie cutter, cut and paste horror characters who only exist to have sex and get murdered. These characters feel real, because they act real. One of the biggest pluses for this film is Jamie Lee Curtis, the scream queen, and for good reason. Her role as Laurie Strode is a pivotal turning point, she’s intelligent, quick thinking, and began to define what we’d see later in the horror movie world as a survival girl. She’s not a drinker, or a smoker, she doesn’t have premarital sex, and she fights like hell. She has to, because Michael Myers is one of the scariest movie villains. He walks around, yet he alway keeps up, you can’t see his eyes, you can shoot him or stab him, and the man (if you can still call him a man) comes back for more. He’s relentless, and thus relentlessly scary.

The sound effects of the film are also a character of their own, and the stalking theme from Michael Myers is legendary. As soon as you hear the music, you know things are about to get crazy. The scares are also top notch, cheap tricks are quite limited, every execution here is top notch, especially with the sudden appearances of the boogeyman Myers.

He literally appears out of nowhere, and it keeps you on your toes.
He literally appears out of nowhere, and it keeps you on your toes.

What Doesn’t Work: One of my only huge complaints about Halloween, is Dr. Loomis’ character. He’s supposed to be a psychologist, and yet most psychologists would never call their patients a monster, and his actions throughout the film go completely against moral psychology for a patient. Sure, Myers is a monster, because he’s portrayed this way, but in a logical world, Dr. Loomis isn’t acting professional and that can take a bit away from the impact of the occurrences in the film.

Slasher aficionados may not like this film because of it’s lack of gore. Which I don’t count as a negative, because gore isn’t necessary, but it may detract from your enjoyment if you’re a gore hound.

Final Score:

LegendaryThis film is still a knockout today, and there’s a good reason why people still talk about the film, and why many modern horror film directors adore it. You can try to impersonate it, but John Carpenter’s work stands the test of time, and should be worthy of your Halloween viewing. 9 out of 10.