spooky movie season mini-reviews

scream (1996)

“do you like scary movies?”

(cw: thirsty enby, reference to abuse)

hi it’s september so it’s halloween now sorry. it’s gonna get spooky in here. eat some candy and smooch a ghost or something.

there was a time when i woulda said this was my favorite scary movie. it’s definitely still up there. also im not gonna lie it makes me kinda horny. i still lowkey wanna fuck someone cosplaying as ghostface.

the first time i saw this, i only saw the opening scene? it was at a friend’s house and i don’t remember the exact context. i think they just wanted to show me the opening scene because it rules, which… in retrospect, fair! this has one of the best openers of any movie ever.

(this next paragraph references abuse i experienced and is a bit iffy and i don’t entirely know how i feel about it? but it felt important to talk about regarding my personal experience with this movie and it likely still influences how i feel about it in ways i do not entirely understand? if that sounds squicky to you probably skip this.)

i finally saw the movie as a whole with one of my first abusers. it was after i had finally asserted the boundary that i didn’t want to have sex with her anymore and there was this really weird tension between us at the time which honestly weirdly enhanced a lot of the movie’s sharper edges for me and probably added to the experience a bit??? obviously if i could go back and change things i would rather, y’know, NOT have had that experience but it was weirdly compelling at the time.

this just kinda objectively hits a lot of sweet spots for me in terms of what i want out of a slasher, though? it’s lowkey horny without being completely problematic. (it’s not completely UNproblematic, but… y’know. we can’t have it all.) it takes itself JUST seriously enough that the scares are genuinely scary but you still have quite a bit of fun with it when it isn’t taking itself entirely seriously. i wish i had a way of putting this more concisely. it’s the same thing i love about, say, happy death day and urban legend. and i think some of the final destination movies? hmm.

anyway, scream still kinda rules. it’s silly. and i hate that it has terfy mcgowan in it as a fairly major side character. but we can’t win them all. and the things i like about this movie far outweigh the things i dislike about it. which, given my experiences with it feels pretty appropriate, i guess.

which i guess is another way of saying… this movie is weirdly meaningful to me. that’s the tl;dr here, i suppose.

(s-rank)

happy death day

no it’s cool let’s just watch a movie where a girl wakes up in a boy’s bed over & over literally right after i admit i still like boys, thanks for that

(a-rank)

hocus pocus

rated: t

tags: tf, age regression, bondage, kidnapping, mind control, implied vore, bullying, shoe fetish, cosplay

(a-rank)

young frankenstein

so, yeah, ok. mel brooks movies are kinda trash and riddled with ableist jokes. but this is such a cringe nostalgic fave. i’ll get into my history with it in a lot more detail when i watch it for project rewatch, but suffice it to say we had it on vhs and it was one of those movies i watched obsessively for a while. and there are parts of it that still work for me. but like… i genuinely don’t think i can recommend it to anyone who hasn’t already seen it? mel brooks just isn’t worth it. you’ll be ok without seeing his stuff, trust me.

(b-rank)

day of the dead (1985)

“you don’t have enough ammunition, captain. to shoot them all in the head. the time to have done that would’ve been at the beginning. no, you let them overrun us. they have overrun us, you know.”

well, fuck. (and in our case all we would’ve had to do is wear fucking masks and stay home for a few weeks.)

(a-rank)

friday the 13th (1980)

that sure was a slasher. lots of kinda awkward (occasionally funny, but tbf i was high) fighting and lots of horny himbos & bimbos for me to relate to. who the fuck has even heard of strip monopoly, honestly?

well heck, kevin bacon was kinda cute before he got old as fuck.

so, protip though. if literally every single character in your movie is white maybe don’t have a guy wear a native american headdress and yell like a dumbass. just an idea. at least he died first. (for some reason i originally typed “at least he died twice” and wow that woulda been satisfying.)

(b-rank)

fright night (1985)

takes itself just seriously enough, but mostly understands that it’s just a silly fun time. can relate. chris sarandon plays a vampire who is equal parts predatory and dorky? and i’m kinda hella here for it. that hypnosis/dance scene & the bite scene woulda been super sexy if his victim weren’t literally a high school girl. they’re still extremely effective & compelling, just, y’know. icky.

anyway, i still maintain this is only a better protagonist away from being perfect, and it still hecking rules.

(a-rank)

a nightmare on elm street

nancy thompson does NOT fuck around. you gotta respect it.

also please let crop tops on boys come back in style please it’s such a good look.

(a-rank)

friday the 13th part 2

ginny almost mommy dommed jason to death wtf

(b-rank)

scream 2

second parts of trilogies are still sequels, randy. come off it.

(a-rank)

a nightmare on elm street part 2: freddy’s revenge

“i simply didn’t have the self-awareness to realize that any of this might be interpreted as gay”

director jack sholder, either a bold liar or the most unobservant man on the face of the planet

(b-rank)

friday the 13th part iii

now… it’s subtle, but if you pay really close attention you can just tell this was originally in 3d.

(c-rank)

scream 3

i definitely prefer this one to scream 2 even though seeing 2000 hint at #metoo but take it way less seriously was obviously kinda woof. also i am really not a fan of the fact that terfy mcgowan was in the first scream and anti-vax mccarthy is in 3. it doesn’t give me the same feelings of discomfort seeing a mel gibson or somebody like that would, but they’re still not faces i particularly want to associate with one of my favorite movie franchises.

but yeah, we already know all that. i’m stalling. because i know what i really need to do here. i need to apologize to randy for my insolence in my scream 2 review.

randy. i still think you’re wrong about parts of trilogies not counting as sequels (especially when the first film wasn’t conceived as part of a trilogy), but you are too powerful to argue with. and here’s how i figured that out.

“is this simply another sequel? well if it is, same rules apply. but–here’s the critical thing–if you find yourself dealing with an unexpected backstory and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply. because you are not dealing with a sequel, you are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy. […] because true trilogies are all about going back to the beginning and discovering something that wasn’t true from the get go. […] the past will come back to bite you in the ass. whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. the past is not at rest. any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you.”

randy. i am so sorry i underestimated the power contained within your scrawny fourth wall-breaking ass, but i’ll be damned if you didn’t just perfectly describe rise of skywalker 19 years before it came out. and i am not about to fuck with that.

(a-rank)

a nightmare on elm street 3: dream warriors

the first one is still my favorite, and i think 4 passed this one on this rewatch. i did really like this one, especially nancy in a mentor/guardian role. and it had some pretty good kills. there just wasn’t really anything to elevate it over the original for me. it’s good, though! definitely a worthy successor.

(b-rank)

halloween 4: the return of michael myers

“you son of a bitch, you just created a lynch mob.”
“you haven’t got a police force! these men may be the only defense you’ve got.”

… guys, c’mon.

(c-rank)

friday the 13th: the final chapter

as disposable as its characters. i remember liking this the first time i saw it but it seemed pretty weak to me this time. i just saw it earlier tonight and i honestly can’t tell you what happened in it

on a plus side you could get drunk as hell if you took a shot every time someone gets thrown through or otherwise breaks a window? actually probably don’t do that, it might be lethal.

(c-rank)

a nightmare on elm street 4: the dream master

i think this might be my favorite of the sequels??? it definitely has one of my favorite moments (when kristen is sinking in the sand & freddy steps on her). and it’s mostly pulpy goodness. none of the sequels hold a candle to the original, imo (a position that i don’t generally hold as reflexively as a lot of people), but they’re still a lot of fun.

(b-rank)

scream 4

(spoilers) you know rory culkin is one of the killers as soon as he says “it’s cinema club”

(a-rank)

labyrinth

we’re just gonna go right past all the discourse about david bowie’s bulge because i honestly could not possibly care less? i think he kinda rules and i do find him super hot in this, but it has nothing to do with that.

so instead we’re going to pivot to how tragic it is that the goblins aren’t hotter!!! im a certified monster fucker, and gobbies are pretty high on my list, but the gobbies here are just kinda meh. as far as fuckability i mean. i am not here to try to say jim freaking henson didn’t make some cute freaking goblins just because i didn’t find them very fuckable, jfc. i know i’m an dumbass but i’m not that kind of dumbass.

(b-rank)

scream (1996)

ok, you guys are gonna be shocked but i watched scream again & it made me horny again.

(s-rank)

halloween 5: the revenge of michael myers

dr. loomis is the villain of this movie prove me wrong

(d-rank)

friday the 13th: a new beginning

this is the worst one, maybe? going away from the campground/lake setting is a mistake, in my opinion. and replacing it with a halfway house staffed by ableists where the only people who aren’t white are “the help”… woof.

the acting and everything else is extra bad. there is even more sex & nudity in this one than usual, though, which… kinda helps, i guess? but i still just kinda hate this, i think.

(d-rank)

a nightmare on elm street: the dream child

did nightmare on elm street do a pro-life or was i just that high? either way, not a big fan of the main plot here. some of the pulpy stuff was just fine but i just didn’t really care for the final confrontation at all and that kinda spoiled it for me. it’s not bad necessarily, but i think it’s pretty easily the least impressive one to this point in the series and that decline continues.

(c-rank)

halloween: the curse of michael myers

we watched the unrated whatever cut, and yeah ok it was better. but it was still really, really bad.

(d-rank)

friday the 13th part vi: jason lives

whenever i look back on the series this one has typically stood out as my favorite, and it does rule, but sitting down to watch it a second time i’m struggling to articulate why? it’s not head & shoulders above the first two, they might even be slightly better. it’s a near thing either way. but jason wasn’t the killer in the first one and he didn’t have a mask in the second one? and the next three just didn’t hold a candle to those first two. so i guess this is the most pure, true to formula one where he had the iconic hockey mask? maybe that’s all it takes. also there was a lot more of people actually physically struggling with him and seeing just how damn strong & unstoppable he is. for a slasher movie, that definitely doesn’t hurt.

(b-rank)

freddy’s dead: the final nightmare

WOW that’s really how they were gonna end the series? WOW.

(c-rank)

halloween h20: 20 years later

i had already decided that this still kinda rules before the part where laurie strode is holding an axe and defiantly inviting her brother to come get her as john ottman’s appropriately bombastic soundtrack cements the moment as one of the most iconic of the series.

(b-rank)

friday the 13th part vii: the new blood

a lot of kinda ok parts burdened by a snoozefest of an a plot and way too little gore. the sleeping bag kill woulda been my favorite of the series in its intended form.

(c-rank)

ghostbusters (2016)

oh no this is now tied for the movie i’ve logged the most times on letterboxd. not that me having seen a movie a lot of times necessarily means it’s near the top of my favorites list (this is definitely not), but something still feels… ignominious about it?

2016 was not my finest hour. i was in the throes of identity politics-centered liberalism and inch-deep feminism. if pressed i would’ve described myself as a democratic socialist. but in spite of that i was a pretty enthusiastic hillary clinton supporter, so like… obviously i had a ways to go. and falling hook, line, and sinker for this kind of craven corporatization & commodification of #representation was… not a good look, in retrospect.

(worth noting that i called myself a socialist as far back as 2008, and basically got bullied into liberalism & “incremental change” by my abusive boyfriend, but… i’m still going to take a share of personal responsibility here. and if my foundation in theory had been stronger at the time, it wouldn’t have been as easy to bully me into supporting these things. shrug.)

i just… fuck, man. it’s just hard to look back at a time where i gave a shit about fucking… ghostbusters??? it’s… i mean, i like it. it’s fine. but the amount of effort i put into defending this movie and the sort of superlatives i heaped on it are just sad in retrospect.

anyway. it’s fine. it’s fun. i like it. i’m still super gay for holtzmann, though apparently kate mckinnon might be transphobic? ugh. what else should i expect from the person who played hillary clinton on snl. and how perfectly full-circle is that for my difficult relationship with the past-me who championed this movie to an embarrassing degree?

but also like… understanding that past-me had the capacity to have the politics i have now is reassuring in its own way? it reminds me that just because someone isn’t there today, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be there tomorrow. liberalism & conservativsm are diseases, but they’re curable. we’ll be waiting for you when you recover.

(b-rank)

new nightmare

one of the best sequels, easily. almost too meta though? scream definitely struck a better balance.

(b-rank)

halloween: resurrection

hahahaha wow i was way too charitable last time. this is garbage.

(d-rank)

halloween (2007)

dnf. the first 40 minutes were even worse than i remembered them being and i just… can’t with rob zombie. i just can’t. it’s so gross. i’m usually a series completionist but i honestly don’t mind taking these out of my rotation.

(d-rank)

friday the 13th part viii: jason takes manhattan

just barely almost good but not quite? at times the closest thing to a follow-up to the comedic tone of jason lives, but the scale just tips ever too slightly to the fact that it’s kind of a shitty movie? but like. it could be a lot worse.

(c-rank)

halloween (2018)

yeah this still totally rules.

(a-rank)

jason goes to hell: the final friday

remember when these were about a guy named jason slashing campers

(d-rank)

jason x

we decided early on to treat it like what it is: the best scifi original of all time. (no, i don’t care that it’s not a scifi original, or that scifi is spelled however the fuck it’s spelled now.) it looks like i gave this 1 star the other time i watched it and uhhh yeah why? this is wonderfully dumb. it rules. i kinda love it.

(b-rank)


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