Category: Horror/Thriller

“The Resort”

5.1

It’s been a long time since I’ve rooted this firmly for a cast to die so I could be done with watching this mess of a movie. The likeability of the characters is worse than the “Escape Room” franchise. They’re trespassing, breaking every rule, ignoring every warning… they deserve what comes their way. There’s a way to pull off great low-budget horror. This ain’t it. Saved you an hour and a half. (That was the only upside to this movie. it was shockingly short in runtime.)

“Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions”

6.9

If you enjoyed the first one, you’ll enjoy this one.

They borrow an awful lot here… and still manage to crank up the “meh” factor. The “is this the real world or a trap/dream” that Wes Craven perfected with “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” The traps of “Saw.” The “oh no, it’s not really the end” ending that EVERY HORROR MOVIE attempts, but “Ghost Ship” probably perfected. The biggest thing for me was that I did not care about any of these characters… It’s similar to “Saw.” You don’t really care that they die, only that their death is cool.

For your enjoyment, I’ve included some of my favorite non-endings in horror. Let me know if I’ve missed some.

“Old”

6.4

I feel like I aged 57 years watching this movie, so it was a fitting storyline…

The cinematography is gorgeous. The story has such potential. That being said, you’ll be rolling your eyes by the third act. It’s the ending. AGAIN! There doesn’t need to be a life-altering twist at the end. Every time. Another swing for the fences, another pop-fly caught for an unexciting out. I didn’t want to attend a 2-hour medical ethics lecture, movie! And anyone who thought this beach wasn’t going to have weird things happen is insane and deserves everything that happens to them.

Annoying characters, predictable story, and an ending that will leave you rolling your eyes.

“Fear Street Trilogy”

8.2

These types of films are becoming their own genre, and I am here for it. The “Stranger Things”/”Wet Hot American Summer” nostalgia-soaked adventure through well-established genres. In this case, classic horror slashers. From “Friday the 13th” camp, to the Salem witch trials, to the Stephen King “It” style adventure tying it all together.

The script was razor-sharp, the cinematography was gorgeous, and the soundtrack was everything you could ever dream of shoe-horning into this trilogy that serves as a masterclass in constructing a horror saga. There was an almost perfect balance between nostalgia and new-newness struck in these films. Characters you grow to genuinely care about by the time they have their final showdown between good and evil in the neon-soaked mall that serves as the site that ties it all together. Literally, the crossroads of the mall serves as the singular geographical point in all three generations where these stories come together.

I waited until all three were out, so I could binge them back to back. I do, however, appreciate that these streaming services have kept alive these cinematic events that can bring us all together to watch the same thing at the same time and have this kind of shared experience. They also inspired me to go on an 80’s slasher marathon this weekend, which was an added benefit.

Of note, this series was much more violent and gore-filled than I had anticipated. Not for those with weak stomachs or a general aversion to these types of content. And of course, there has to be sex before the teenagers get picked off by a masked killer with a hardware store weapon, witch, or possessed beat friend—highly recommended popcorn flicks.

“The Forever Purge”

7.6

I think they finally figured out how to make a great Purge movie!

The beginning got a little on the nose, which I’ve come to expect from this series. There are a couple of points where the narrative trips over itself. But I’ll be damned; they land the plane. And we finally get to wade up to our eyeballs in actual purge happenings!

The characters fit surprisingly well together, and there is an excellent twist on the usual purge film plot. I really came to care about the characters and not root for their untimely death. And… I didn’t want to walk out halfway through this one like I did the last one.