Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) –  A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Killer Klowns may sound like a cheap 80’s low budget horror film (which to be fair it is) BUT it offers far more invention and creativity than you would expect from a film made for peanuts and directed by a trio of brothers who have done little of note since.   The basic premise of Alien clowns killing people in a small town is silly enough but the charm in which is does it and the creative use of clown tropes makes this far more enable that it has any right to have and oddly stands up well over 30 years later.  One to stream for sure (now on Netflix UK).

Best Bit: Shadow Puppets

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Ticks, The Blob, Critters

 


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Halloween (2018) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Halloween (2018) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Halloween 2018 is a film of three halves.  The first part sets up the premise nicely – that Michael went to jail after the original and that the sequels (and the family link to Strode) didn’t exist.  Not a bad thing.  It’s a creepy and effective set up.  It’s the middle part where the film looses it’s way a bit, falling into the trappings of the film’s it’s trying to ignore.  Thankfully it pulls it back with an uber creepy last section which ties together the strings nicely and ends up leaving the film with a neat ending… should it wish to walk away.  Overall it’s well worth seeing and one of the better Halloween movies.

Best Bit: The house

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Halloween, Halloween 3: Season Of The Witch, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

 


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Haunt (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Haunt (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Eli Roth and the writers of A Quiet Place… well that’s a mix if I’ve ever seen one.  Problem is Eli Roth has never delivered on his own hype and the aforementioned writers have done little OTHER than A Quiet Place.  Marketing… gotta love it.  Anyway all this aside Haunt is actually okay.  Think an Escape Room meets Saw meets House Of a 1,000 Corpses (but not as good as either) and you are mostly there.  Well mostly if you excuse pretty much all the gore.  Because this film does.  Passing the time, it’s occasionally unnerving but needed to be turned up past 6 to excite more.  So not bad but not great.

Best Bit: Ring

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: House Of a 1,000 Corpses, Saw, Escape Room, A Quiet Place

 


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Crawl (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Crawl (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Crawl isn’t a bad film.  It’s just not a great one.  The central idea is fine but sadly lead ‎Kaya Scodelario lacks the skills to really pull off something as hokey as this.  Director Alexandre Aja has been here before and forgot to bring the fun this time out and in the end it’s all pretty predictable stuff almost totally lacking in gore (save for one rather nice moment near the end).  It’s short (which is nice) but in-between the limited moments of alligators attacking the film is nothing we’ve not seen many, many times before.  One for a Friday night after a few beers.

Best Bit: The Alligators arrive

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Piranha 3D, Rogue (2017), Lake Placid, Jaws 3D

 


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Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I was a massive fan of the original Happy Death Day – a smart idea, well executed that played it as much fore fun as it did for fears.  A quickly turned around sequel doesn’t always guarantee it will be able to replicate the success but, er, happily, I can report that Happy Death Day 2U is great fun.  A bit more sci-fi than horror focused, this Blumhouse produced sequel turns the crazy up to eleven and, through a very clever introduction, sets up its pace and tone which takes it closer to Primer levels than Friday 13th.  The cast are fun (again) , the direction solid and the film doesn’t hang around.  Well recommended.

Best Bit: The opening

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Happy Death Day, Primer, Get Out

 


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Prevenge (2017) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Prevenge (2017) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Prevenge is a cracking independent pitch black horror comedy starring, written and directed by the actually pregnant Alice Lowe.  Seeking revenge for something from her past, Lowe’s Ruth brutally slays what at first look sleek a series of unconnected victims. But are they?  To be fair the why is kinda given away early on but the how, when and where?  That’s the best part.  Mixing brutal deaths with dark humour, Prevenge is one of the most unique films I’ve seen in a while and a real must watch.

Best Bit: Disco Dan

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Sightseers, Raw, Personal Shopper

 


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Dawn of The Dead (2004) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Dawn of The Dead (2004) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 2004 remake of Dawn of The Dead is the template for HOW to remake a classic film.   Rather than just copy beat for beat, Snider (never known for his subtly) flips the tone, landing on a film that is as much action as it is horror.  And it works.  Yes for sure it has horror moments (Zombie baby anyone) but it’s in the action horror beats that the film really shines.  The cast do well (Rhames and Polly especially) and the fast zombies really helps the film keep a pace and sense of dread that older Zombie movies don’t always have. As a lover of Zombie films and Dawn of The Dead I was possibly the most cynical about this film.  But Snider delivered and the film remains highly watchable all these years later.

Best Bit: Gas canisters

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dawn of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, 28 Days Later 

 


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Krampus (2015) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Krampus (2015) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Krampus is the dark horror comedy you need during the festive period.  Yup for every family that’s ever argued or had in-laws over that, to be honest you just can’t stand, Krampus will take those moments and add a bucket load of weirdness to it.  It’s hard to describe Krampus – it’s part Home Alone, part Gremlins. But whatever it is it’s a whole load of fun. OTT, crazy and pretty trippy – If you like your Christmas films with a dash of bite then this is for you.

Best Bit: The loft

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Better Watch Out, Gremlins, Rare Exports, Home Alone,

 


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The Thing (1982) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

The Thing (1982) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Thing is the template for how to make a (relatively) low budget tense, character driven sci-fi horror.  The remake is the template for how NOT to and that’s why it should be avoided at all costs.  Carpenter’s The Thing is lightning in a bottle, it could never be bettered. In fact it cemented Russell as a leading man for generations to come and Carpenter as a true icon of horror.   Critics hated it but even today it holds up as a true cult classic. Nearly perfect.

Best Bit: The ending.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Escape From New York, Halloween, Alien 

 

Hall of Fame

 


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Scream (1996) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Scream (1996) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wes Craven’s Scream remains surprisingly effective 22 years on.  A post-modern slasher film that (much like Tarantino was doing in the gangster film) referenced the very films that predated it.  It’s a film that plays by and yet subverts the rules of its genre.  This may have led to horror eventually eating itself with Scream clones (including certain Scream sequels) but what Craven does here is first rate.  Okay so it could have had a bit more gore for my liking but still it’s an effective slasher film with an iconic villain and some real scares.

Best Bit: “Do you like Scary Movies? ”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Scream 2, From Dusk Till Dawn

 


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