‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
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
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: Horror Franchises
Close but no cigar:The Purge, Final Destination , Scream, Saw
5 – Childs Play Childs Play started well, went pretty rotten in the middle but managed to stick the landing with Bride, Child and most recently Cult Of Chucky. Still got legs.
4 – Halloween One great film, a few weak sequels, an excellent reboot and now a new new reboot means that Halloween is far from finished.
3 – A Nightmare On Elm Street Elm Street is a mix of the good (the original, a New Nightmare, Dream Warriors), the bad (part 5) and the ugly (the remake) but s a horror icon few beat Freddie.
2 – Evil Dead
Four movies and an incredible TV show, The Evil Dead franchise continues to endure well past it’s original roots as a down and very dirty low budget calling card for Sam Rami.
1 – Friday The 13th Yup they haven’t aged that well and the franchise has stalled of late but growing up few films or horror icons scared me as much as the Friday films. From the iconic (Part 4) to the Crazy bad but fun (Jason takes Manhattan) I still love everyone of them. Including the rather good remake.
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Happy Death Day is great fun. It’s Groundhog Day meets Scream and yet another hit for the almost unstoppable Blumhouse Productions. Yup new ground isn’t broken here BUT it’s a damn entertain romp with a great tone and a career making central performance.
Best Bit: Let’s put it all right
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Scream, Groundhog Day, The Purge
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: Slasher Film Villains!
So a few rules: They have to have been in more than one film. They have to be masked/somehow hide their identity. And they must have killed. A lot.
Close but no cigar: Chucky, Norman Bates, Ghostface
5 – Pinhead From Hell itself comes Doug Bradley’s chilling coenobite, a relentless pin faced monster that’s as unstoppable as any other on this list with his own unique calling card. The infamous Lament Configuration.
4 – Leatherface His face caked in the skin of his victims, loves meat hooks, freezers and will chase you down relentlessly with his chainsaw. Also very much a family man. In short: a 6 and a half foot brainless killing machine.
Watch: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Avoid: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
3 – Jason Voorhees Not the original villain from Friday The 13th (That was his loving mother), but from it’s first sequel onwards Jason proved to be as relentless and unstoppable as any slasher movie icon. Adopting his machete and hockey mask in Part 3 it was all over by Part 4’s final chapter. Until lightning brought him back. And telekinesis. And space. And a reboot. His rein of terror continues to this day.
Watch: Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) Avoid:Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood (1988)
2 – Michael Myers Michael Myers in truth is why this list exists. Without the William Shatner faced stalker of Jamie Lee Curtis NONE of these (with the exception of Leatherface) would exist. A true icon of the genre, in what is by far the best slasher movie ever made.
Watch: Halloween (1978) Avoid: Halloween 2 (2009)
1 – Freddy Krueger Whilst most copied the relentless silent Killer model set up by Michael Myers, Freddy was something a little different. A wise cracking burnt to a crisp child killer, Kruger haunted your dreams until brutally killing you with his razor fingers. Wes Craven created what is the true Slasher film icon in Krueger, who would shine no matter how bad the film he was in.
Watch: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) Avoid: A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010)
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Horror comedy is a tough gig to pull off and post scream self referential horror comedy even more so. Enter The Final Girls – a great idea that’s just not quite as cleverly produced as the filmmakers think it is. That said there is LOADS to like here and when it works (which to be fair is quite often) it’s great fun. BUT like most horror comedies the bit it fails on is the horror – it’s just not clever enough.
Best Bit: Back in time!
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Scream, Tucker & Dale Vs Evil, Scream 2
STINKER OF THE YEAR: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon (2/10) In Brief: Simply put everything that is wrong with Hollywood today. Vacuous, pointless and dull, this loud, obnoxious $250 million abortion of a movie was just dire. And yet it made lots of money,. Go figure.
2. Sucker Punch In Brief: Uncomfortable to watch without feeling more than a bit dirty, Sucker Punch was style over substance and ended up being just dull. One to avoid for everyone other than horney teenagers who haven’t yet discovered pornography.
3. Rubber In Brief: If like my films off the wall. I like them mad as a box of frogs. But Rubber was just pointless, pretentious tripe.
4. Scream 4 In Brief: The shark jumped, this was a sequel that was just not needed. Most Scary thing: Courtney Cox’s botox face. Nasty.
5. Season of The Witch In Brief: Nick Cage makes another stinker and drags Ron Pearlman with him. Just dull, dull, dull.