Author: Brett_G

“Possession” (1981)

6.4

Similar to “Cannibal Holocaust,” I had to hunt down an unofficial official blu-ray of this online. How was this not on Shudder?! Anyway, there is a reason for that. It’s a strange one. Very moist.

Before Sam Neil was busy auditing theme parks (“Jurassic Park”), he was working for the government in a job more mysterious than Barney Stinson’s. He leaves this high-paying job to move back in with his… wife(?) and young son, only to find that there’s something amiss. I’m not entirely sure how to even explain it. Overall, the moral of the story is “Don’t stick your dick in crazy.” I know most slashers kill teenagers for doing the deed, but this takes it to a whole other level. Everyone who enters that sacred temple ends up mangled by the end of the film. This is what happens when curiosity drives one of my weekend watch picks.

Fun fact: Isabelle Adjani, the lead actress with the hypnotizing blue eyes that lure you in as a viewer almost as strongly as men into her trap in the story, was once married to actor Daniel Day Lewis.

Because I'm a Guy on Twitter: "If you stick your dick in crazy....😂😂… "

“Halloween” (2018)

7.9

Definitely one of the strongest reboot/remakes this century. They may have pulled off the impossible and cleansed the sins of oversaturation committed by this series before Rob Zombie took it over.

Unlike the recent “Star Wars” trilogy, this film seems to use the former cast to more effectively handing the baton to the future generation. Other than the unstoppable killing force of Michael Myers. I don’t think they’ll ever make the mistake of relieving him of his duties again (see “Halloween 3”).

The kills fall a little flat as they lean pretty heavily on headbanging early on. It does get better later in the film, though. I felt like this one was doing more heavy lifting in the “establishing lore” department than in the slasher film department. Overall, a fantastic reboot and hopefully a sign of things to come for the franchise and genre in general.

“Halloween Kills”

8.4

Did they just nail a Michael Myers movie? Yes. Yes they did.

The perfect balance of psychological thriller and brutal slasher, this film picks up right where we left off in Halloween (2018) and didn’t let off the gas until the credits roll. I was hoping they would get more creative with the kills in this installment. They did, and then some. This is one of the most beautifully brutal slashers this side of the ’80s.

The story does lean pretty heavily on nostalgia on the character side, but that’s to be expected when your main characters are this legendary. Michael develops more depth than I ever thought possible while being matched up against the entire town of Haddonfield this time. Laurie feels like she completes her arc in the series, finally passing the baton to the younger generation. The ending was off the charts but in the best way possible. They get into the psychology of the town as mob justice prevails in the face of perilous fear, which was a very timely subject and angle to attack this from. The score, as always, was terrific. If I had to summarize, it would be, “just enough nostalgia, just enough surprise.” Highly recommend for your Halloween viewing pleasure. It is streaming on Peacock but plays so much better on a big screen.

“Malignant”

7.7

James Wan at the height of his powers.

A creative, original story. Camera angles no one else would think of using. A largely unknown cast that you care for enough to cause buy-in into the story, heightening its impact. This film fires on all cylinders.

You can see elements of Wan’s entire filmography in this. The music and feel of “Saw,” the storytelling and characters of “The Conjuring,” and the road trip scenes of “Fast and the Furious.” The third act reveal of the true villain, and some of the closing shots had me on the edge of my seat in a way I haven’t been since I first watched “Saw.” The film’s rewatchability may not be as strong as some other horror films, but the initial wow factor is superb. A solid start to spooky season!

“The Card Counter”

7.9

“Any man can tilt.”

An Abu Ghraib movie the weekend of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Ballsy move, but one I think pays off by the time the credits roll. What begins as “Molly’s Game” quickly turns into an Oliver Stone documentary, pulling back the curtain on the complicated nature of morality, the role of the United States in history, and the human costs of war. Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish cement themselves as leading cast members. A masterclass in framing, tension building, and impactful filmmaking.