Halloween Adventures in B-Movie Horror 2021, Part 1

It’s spooky season, Halloween is close, and I’ve been watching more B-Movies! It’s the genre that truly keeps on giving, with plenty of schlock to go around.

For this first installment of Adventures in B-Movies 2021, I watched films with a lotta drillin,’ resulting in a lotta killin.’

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REVIEW: ‘Halloween Kills’ crushes momentum from 2018 installment

Lightning struck in 2018, with that year’s “Halloween” feature, as it was a return to form for the long-running franchise.

Unfortunately, it appears to have been just a lightning in a bottle scenario.

The movie picks up just minutes after the end of the 2018 picture. Despite the efforts of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her family, the killer Michael Myers survived the trap set for him and is back on the loose.

As Myers emerges from the fire started in the first picture, reports of his actions begin spreading throughout the town. Many of those who learn of Michael’s actions had run ins with the killer when he first attacked in 1978. Intending to bring an end to Myers, they decide to take the law into their own hands, causing even more chaos in the city of Haddonfield.

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REVIEW: Maniacal third act makes ‘Malignant’ worth watching

“Malignant” may not be the scariest movie of the year, or of the past few years, but what it leads up to certainly makes it a memorable horror experience.

The flick follows the story of Madison (Annabelle Walis), a woman with an unclear past who lives in Seattle with her Husband. It’s clear from the get-go that their marriage is strained and the film opens with them having a fight.

That night, Madison’s husband is murdered and she has a vision of it happening. From that day on, more murders begin taking place and each time Madison has horrible visions of it taking place. As this happens, Madison begins to dig more into her past to see what the connection is.

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REVIEW: Poor ending negates potential of ‘Night House’

There are some movies where the execution of an ending can be so integral that it can make or break the feature.

That’s the case with “The Night House,” and not in a good way.

Rebecca Hall plays Beth in this thriller, a high school teacher who recently lost her husband to suicide. Beth is trying to move on from the tragedy, but she continues to reside at the home her husband, Owen (Evan Jonigkeit), built on the lake, which leaves her with constant reminders.

Those reminders begin to manifest as visions for Beth, who begins to see frightening things related to her late husband in the midnight hours. Because of what she sees in the night, she begins looking into whether her husband had a secret life or not.

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REVIEW: Compelling and creepy ‘Candyman’ is a success

Sometimes, modern horror sequels to older properties can be massive disappointments, such as 2013’s “Texas Chainsaw.”

Fortunately, that’s not the case with the new “Candyman,” penned by Jordan Peele.

This film serves as a sequel to the original “Candyman” from 1992. This time around, the protagonist is Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), an artist living in Chicago with his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris). Finding himself in artist block territory lately, McCoy decides to visit a northern Chicago housing project for inspiration.

While there, he meets a local named William (Colman Domingo), who tells McCoy the legend of the Candyman spirit. The legend ends up being a spark for McCoy who begins making art based on Candyman. However, his spark of creativity ends up reigniting the old Candyman spirit itself.

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REVIEW: ‘Old’ is a middling Shyamalan offering

M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller, this time based on a graphic novel.

“Old” is Shyamalan’s adaptation of the novel “Sandcastle.” The film follows several people who’re together on a private beach owned by a resort on a tropical island.

While the cast is large, the movie mainly centers on one family, consisting of Guy (Gael Garcia Bernal), his wife Prisca (Vicky Krieps), and their children Trent (Alex Wolff) and Maddox (Thomasin McKenzie). At first, it seems to be a relaxing getaway, but things turn south fast. After a series of events, the group learns that the area they’re at makes people age at an accelerated rate.

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REVIEW: Avoid the ‘Escape Room’ sequel

This sequel may feature “champions,” but the film itself isn’t a winner.

The movie takes place not long after the first picture, with survivors of the past escape room game Ben (Logan Miller) and Zoey (Taylor Russell) seeking to take down the group responsible for the torture set-ups. Their mission brings them to New York City, where they end up being lured into another escape room set-up.

There, they meet with others who’ve made it through the escape rooms, Brianna (Indya Moore), Nathan (Thomas Cocquerel), Rachel (Holland Roden) and Theo (Carlito Olivero). Having made it out before, the players are more familiar with how the game works, but it doesn’t make it any easier with the rooms continuing to have deadly components.

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REVIEW: ‘Forever Purge’ fails to outshine predecessors

This movie’s characters throw punches at each other while the script throws hamfisted commentary haymakers at the audience.

“The Forever Purge” opens by basically throwing what happened in “The Purge Election Year” out the window, as the New Founding Founders of America were voted back into office and started the annual event again. This time around, the “Purge” saga follows two couples. One is Dylan (Josh Lucas) and his pregnant wife Cassidy (Cassidy Freeman).The other is Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huera), with the latter having a job at Dylan’s father’s (Will Patton) ranch.

As what’s become usual, the Purge comes and goes with both families hunkering down. However, the killing doesn’t end there. It soon becomes clear that there’s a coordinated effort by extremists to keep the Purge going for as long as it needs to in order to tear the existing country apart. Now, the two families are forced to work together to survive.

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REVIEW: The Devil went down to ‘Conjuring’ and it wasn’t a good time

The totally not con-artist Warrens are back in another movie about a demonic possession that really happened and wasn’t made up.

Yes, there was a lot of sarcasm in that lede.

The eighth film in the “Conjuring” cinematic universe takes place in 1981 with Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) assisting in an exorcism of a young boy. In the process of the exorcism, the demon possessing the boy is transferred to a man assisting in the situation, Arne (Ruairi O’Connor).

During the altercation, Ed suffers a heart attack and is taken to a hospital. When he recovers, he warns of Arne’s possible possession, but it’s too late. Arne commits murder on his landlord and is arrested by the police. Facing a potential death penalty sentence, the Warrens begin an investigation into the possession to try to prove in court that it was a demon that caused the murder.

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REVIEW: ‘Quiet Place’ sequel suffers from poor character decisions

“The Purge” is a great example of kids screwing things up in the middle of a tense situation. Another example is “28 Weeks Later.” The latest example is “A Quiet Place II.”

After a brief opening scene showing the first day of the alien attack, this sequel picks up immediately after the events of the original 2018 film. With their home in tatters, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her newborn baby, as well as her school-age children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), are forced to venture out for a new shelter.

Along the way they meet an old friend from their destroyed town, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), though he’s reluctant to help. With the knowledge that her hearing aid is useful against the aliens, though, Regan has a drive in her to find a way to spread the word.

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