What the Nightmare on Elm Street Remake Should have been

by  on Aug.23, 2011, under nightmare on elm street, Retro Horror Movies, Slasher Movies

Last year about the same time as the Nightmare on Elm Street Remake came out I came across the trailer below. A long time NOES fan took it upon himself to make a new vision of Freddy Krueger that was familiar yet different enough to feel like a new take on the character. Chris Johnson basically came up with the concept that a bunch of Hollywood writers and producers couldn’t and provided us with a glimpse of how you can breath new life into Freddy. View it then read my further comments below:

Its pretty impressive for a fan made trailer. Chris Johnson has been playing dress up as Freddy since he was a kid and has apparently made multiple fan films when he was a teenager so its pretty amazing he’s taken that passion so far. The concept of Freddy still smoldering and on fire is a pretty amazing one as is the glowing hot finger blades. Those would have been very interesting additions for a new version of the character. Chris plays Freddy in the trailer as well but I don’t think he’s the right body type for the character. Freddy should be a skinny emaciated figure, not a bulky monster.

I didn’t hate the remake that platinum dunes release in 2010 but It didn’t feel like a Freddy movie that I grew up with. They changed the characters back story but removed that part about him being a “child killer” so why does he have a glove with knives on it? Instead he’s a full on child molester this time out and entirely unsympathetic. They brought in a director that apparently didn’t have any real passion for the character so we got a story that looked great but had pretty dull characters. More than anything though they sucked out all the humor. Sure Freddy became a total joke by the time Nightmare 3 hit theaters but the remake took out all of Freddy’s humor and made him totally despicable and that didn’t really work for me that well. I still see some things I like in the remake but upon a couple additional viewings since it was released It just doesn’t hold up well and it definitely fails to reboot the character.

Platinum Dunes has already said they’re getting out of the horror game entirely so I don’t think we’ll see a continuation of the Remake anytime soon nor will we see a part 2 of the one movie Platinum Dunes did get right, Friday the 13th. Oh well. Lets hope that next time these character see screen time they get someone like Chris Johnson to direct who will bring the love of the character with him and give us a remake we deserve. Wishful thinking…

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Review: John Carpenter’s The Ward

by  on Aug.21, 2011, under Halloween, John Carpenter

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a fan of John Carpenter since I was a child. I knew at a pretty early age who this man was and what movies he made and they were my favorite films. From the classic Halloween in 1978 all the way up to Prince of Darkness in 87′ Carpenter had a pretty great run of movies. Even his silly films like Big Trouble in Little Tokyo and They Live are great and well worth checking out! In the 90’s however Carpenter had more misses than hits though I still defend Vampires and I love In the Mouth of Madness. Then after the terrible Ghost of Mars in 2001, Carpenter pretty much dropped off the Radar for nearly a decade, returning only to film 2 episodes of the showtime tv series, Masters of Horror.

But now the man is back and doing a film that feels and looks like a Carpenter movie. The Ward isn’t the triumphant return to Horror I would have liked to see but it is definetly a nice warm up. The film follows a girl named Kristen (Amber Heard) who we meet at the beginning of the film burning down a house. She’s taken kicking and screaming to a mental institute where 4 other young girls are locked up in the same ward. Soon Kristen is told about the ghost that haunts the ward and the girls are getting picked off one by one.

Visually The Ward looks pretty amazing! It feels more like a classic Carpenter film with its slow low tracking shots down hallways, strong production design and cinematography that is on par with that of the great Dean Cundey. Carpenter feels like he’s back on his game here and smart for choosing a small and quiet horror story like the Ward. The film feels very polished and Carpenter uses the Anamorphic widescreen like only he can and it makes the film feel bigger than it is. The performances in this film are strong, Horror favorite Amber Heard isn’t my favorite actress but she does very well here. Jared Harris, who plays the seemingly cold and oblivious Doctor, is terrific as always. I will say for a movie that features an almost entirely female cast the girls are all fairly likable. One of my biggest irritations in modern horror films are characters that have all this attitude that makes them all seem like a bunch of bitches. Hollywood has a real issue with making strong female characters. They seem to always interpret “strong” to mean “bitch” and that’s very unfortunate. The characters in The Ward feel appropriate and tied to the period that this movie takes place and there’s something to be said for that these days.

The ending however is where people will polarize on this film. It has a twist ending and if I compare it with the movie its most similar to then I’ll immediately give it away so I won’t be doing that. For me coming from a background in Psychology, I really liked the ending and the film overall.

I hope this is the beginning of a great comeback for the director, but as of yet there is no definite word on his next film project so we’re left wondering for now what’s next for the director. The Ward isn’t a perfect film but it feels like the director is finding his style again and I really hope this rekindles his passion and he makes us a few more horror films before calling it quits again.

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Yankee Candle Halloween 2011

by  on Aug.06, 2011, under Halloween

Just got my first shipment of Yankee Candle goodness today! The Halloween collection that Yankee puts out each year is a must buy for me. This year I tried not to over indulge and just got a few things. My favorite has always been the spiced pumpkin candle but it seems that its availability is pretty random. In fact I haven’t found it in quite a few years, though I haven’t looked that hard for it. But, this years “Pumpkin Patch” candle I’m happy to report is the good ol’ Spiced pumpkin scent! Definitely my favorite of the bunch!

I wasn’t sure about the Witch’s Brew candle, so I only ordered a small one to try out. The scent is that of patchouli and it has a little bit of that earthy moss scent as well. I’m not a huge fan of it but I’m sure I’ll put it to good use. “Candy Corn” is also a favorite and its hard not to like this sweet and delicious smelling candle. It just smells like trick or treat!

No year would be complete with out some additional display ware for you candles. This year I was a little dissapointed to see the decorative Halloween toppers of the last few years were missing. But the “Boney Bunch” skeletal hand holder just about makes up for that! This is one of the coolest jar holders they’ve ever done!

So there you have it. The Halloween Collection at Yankee Candle is available now so go buy it or click here for their website.

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