Halloween: A movie review of Blumhouse’s H40

Introduction

I don’t want to start off with the typical cliché of the fact that the Halloween movies are 40 years old at this point and go through all the old bullshit about how so many movies have been made, including the remake and all that other fun stuff. I’m going straight to the point and talk about the fact that this is the movie people have a wanting for a long time.

Synopsis / Plot

Michael Myers breaks out of sanitarium, terrorizing Haddonfield, 40 years to the day of the original babysitter murders.

Characters

The characters are only kind developed but once we get into the bottom below where I praise the acting you can find yourself being like well, the acting makes up for only so-so character development.

Acting

I think it’s spot-on even from the most bit characters, which is a new trend in Hollywood that has been happening the last couple years, which I find to be an extremely interesting and very much a pleasurable thing. Backround characters are treated as something of note. The annoying aspect of background characters being bad actors always make for a weak movie and this is definitely moving in the right direction from all those old sequels.

Kills

I highly enjoyed all of the kills. Now, none of them are particularly interesting, you’ve seen things like this before but I enjoyed that because lately, especially with the Saw movies, Hollywood has been getting very over-the-top with their kills in horror movies and it’s ultimately destroying the entire horror industry. None of it is scary, and it’s absurd as I pointed out. This movie got it right! it had some up front and personal kills mixed with the Quentin Tarantino aspect of shying away from showing everything but letting you build it up in your mind. This is the right way to do a movie! Afterthought on this: a lot of people complained about the infant crying after his mom was killed was a missed opportunity. I disagree, it was more brutal than a kill would of been. A newborn left to fend for itself is 10x more evil than stabbing it.

Subtext

None of note but we don’t need that in this movie.

Conclusion

Most of her critics were completely wrong about this movie. I find the gripes to be unfounded. A lot of people came away from this with a version of the Mandela effect because they aren’t remembering it correctly. They still entitled to their opinion but they really should have bothered to have paid more attention in my mind. The acting was superb, the Kills were nothing new but still decent, the characters were okay but the acting more than made up for it, the tension was there, which lately is a new trend, is actually great. My only real gripe is super nitpicky, with one exception, most of the actors in this movie are hot but just kind of mediocre looking. Not a single one is overly photogenic, which is weird for Hollywood, but I don’t see anything wrong with hiring Hot or ugly people, even in horror movies, provided they can act. it works because all these people can act even if they’re not all Brad Pitt and I’m okay with this trend overall. Ultimately Halloween hits on all the right notes and is really done a great fan service 40 years later. In my mind Laurie Strode was done well, so much better than H2O or Halloween resurrection. This is the movie that I’ve been waiting to see since I was a kid.

Over all this movie gets 4 out of 5 stars and I hope it gets a sequel ASAP.

Halloween Movie Novelization Book Review

INTRODUCTION
When I was a child, almost all movies had a novelization. Why? Most likely because Hollywood wanted to make more money and much like a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, this was one more worthless item to shill to kids or fans of popular novels. Sadly, the novelization was almost always terrible prose, aimed at the lowest common denominator and forgotten about with glee, shortly after you bought it. Remember the heyday of these is pre-DVD, when extras weren’t as easy to come by via VHS and some audiences were clamoring for more of these favorite flicks, so you cannot really blame anyone for giving them a gander, as they weren’t all terrible, but they weren’t very good, either. My reason for buying these as a child, they often could give more insight into scenes that were cut from the movie, as well as hopefully develop characters past the confines of the movie, whilst giving us more depth in general as well. Few ever lived up to that, that is until Halloween 2018, went retro and made a novelization for its movie and that is one reason for me to buy it, as I am waiting for the DVD or a Double feature of this and the original 1978 classic to finally see it. So is this little gem worth it?

SYNOPSIS
Jason Micheal is accidentally released back into Haddonfield on the eve of his transfer, exactly 40 years to the day of the babysitter murders. Laurie, estranged from her family, finally gets a chance to end her nightmare that started back in 1978. Who will rise victorious? (Hint: it’s Hollywood, it’s almost never the bad guy.)

PROSE
Finally, a novelization that does prose well. Holy shit! Not only is this guy hyper competent, but he adds a bit too much description. There is very little errors within this book, minus like one that you can discover for yourself should you read this. Not only is the description spot on, but the word use makes this one of the smartest novelizations ever. Mea Cupla for instance, is Latin. That is high brow for this type of book and I am very happy to see such. It also adds a bit of physics and quoting of Nietzsche. If all this sounds right up your alley, you will love this.

CHARACTERS
They’re developed enough, but not really in a memorable or you will care sort of way. Most the cast is simply there.

SUBTEXT/THEME
Not much, but they occasionally add a tiny insight when it comes to evil in the word and like I said, it’s a novelization.

CONCLUSION
While this book is sadly just relaying the movie with no real additions via different scenes or extrapolation to the world that is Haddonfield, the myth of Michael or developing the characters more, it still one of the better efforts that a novelization has ever undertaken, even if it lacks suspense, has kills which are weak and is longer than it should be. Overall, I think this and the movie are going to be worth your time.

3 ½ out of 5

Kageoween: Dracula Book Review

INTRODUCTION

     Bram’s Stoker’s magnum opus, Dracula is 121 years old this year and has been read, re-read and passed on from generation to generation as the granddaddy of all horror works. It has been ripped off, in the 1920’s, with Nosferatu. Bram himself, took elements of Carmilla and incorporated it into his work and a reference to that is included in the deleted chapter of Dracula, the short story called Dracula’s Guest. It has been made into umpteen dozen flicks, starting with Dracula in 1930’s, the Hammer films of the 1970’s and a remake from 1992 by Francis Ford Coppola and many more into the 2000’s. It’s safe to say this Iconic bad-ass won’t be going away anytime soon and he will continue to inspire for generations to come.

     How does the book hold up in our modern world? Let’s find out!

SYNOPSIS

     October 11thDracula is an espitsoly work, meaning it is told through letters, journals and other similar tropes. You have 4 main characters, plus two villains. The protagonist are Lucy Westerna, Mina Harker, Johnathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing and Arthur. The antagonist are Dracula and his servant Renfeild.

     Our story opens with Johnathan Harker siting in a restaurant, enjoying some chicken and paprika dish, which he refers to as thirsty, which, is already brilliant before we’re even out the gate. John is a solicitor for Dracula, come to close a deal so the count can move to London and enjoy the beauty of 18th century England. On his journey, Harker continually runs into fantastic use of foreboding and tension building. Harker, a subtle atheist, which we soon find out, doesn’t quite understand the superstition of the town’s people, who give him multiple gifts for protection, on his way to Count Dracula’s castle. Garlic, a crucifix and typical anti-vampire devices. Memo-how the hell are the towns people so hip to fighting off vampires, but Dracula, in his weakened state, still lives to instill fear in the village?

     Once he has made his way to Dracula’s castle, we’re introduced to some, well, peculiar aspects of the count’s life. The count never seems to eat, he sleeps during the day, keep Johnathan up all night with daring tales of battles long past and he has no servants. He does have three vampress’ in his basement, like a boss, who are easily aroused by young blood and he has an exquisite library.

     During his stay at Dracula’s castle, Harker starts to realize he is a prisoner and discovers strange things about the count, like his despising of Harker looking into a mirror, claiming disgust at such vanity, clearly a brilliant foreshadow, but also a dig at the 1800’s culture of beauty above all.

     One night, Johnathan is awoken by the vampires coming towards him, when they’re quickly shut down by the count, who has other plans for Harker and tosses them a fun size snack, or an infant, however you want to see it. Memo-why do reviewers never point out the interesting male homosexual subtext to this, but imply it all throughout Carmilla?

     We leave the castle and start to be introduced to Lucy and Mina, both of whom are pollyannaish as fuck. That in and of itself, is an understatement, because there are infants with better street smarts, but I digress. Reminder- we’re in the 1800’s, not 2018, so it works.

     At first life is normal for both Mina and Lucy, but things start to get weirder and weirder after a boat mysteriously makes it to shore with everyone dead, which is clearly a brilliant reference to The Lost World: Jurassic Park… Note-apparently this book predates that movie, interesting, must remember this.

     Lucy is the first to be turned into a vampire and is subsequently killed by Dr. Van Helsing, a brilliant mind, who is clearly one of the best Ahab’s ever put into lit.

     It doesn’t take long for the Scooby gang and Giles I mean, our protagonist to realize that Dracula is behind all this and the build up to the climax is truly fantastic suspense the likes few could emulate.

CHARACTERS

     It doesn’t take much to note that Bram is a very social human being. He has a nack for people, which is unusual for Gothic horror, given one of its traits is usually emphasis on landscapes and buildings.  He has taken great care to elucidate on each of the individuals quirks, mannerisms, demeanor, educational history and more, through brilliant prose. Stoker wasn’t fucking around here and it couldn’t be shown any better.

     Each character is truly different in how they engage each other and how they come to their conclusions throughout this gem of a novel.

     My two personal favorite characters are Dracula and Van Helsing and love how well they’re written and brought to life. Van Helsing is clearly the old guard, his speech is archaic as opposed to the younger characters in the book. He is wisen, he is experienced, he has seen all the offerings life has to give and has lived to tell the tale. Dracula is similar in this regard, but they’re still vastly different characters. Almost like Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis. The best dialogue easily belong to these two. Although, I appreciate Renfeild, for the seemingly satirical take on Psychology at the time that he represents and at the same time how he is a subtle dig on people following trends before growing bored of them as a form of insanity, vs chasing your passions, regardless of what people think.

     The only really bad thing is in regards to character arcs and how easily some characters switch gears in their beliefs of wampires. Some need little convincing, or it seemed that way and the only real growth by the end is Mina, in my mind.

     Despite that small bit of criticism, everything else is on point.

PROSE

     Wonderful, beautifully written and very picturesque. It is written in a more modern prose than most novels of its age and this was clearly intentional from the getgo. It also helps us with understanding characters, since Van Helsing is older and speaks in a way more reminiscent of the style of the times. Bram doesn’t just stop there, though, he adds a bunch of fun Easter eggs through out, you need to find them, but they’re there and fun to see the references to old stories and science.

     Bram likes to refer to Dracula unspecificly at times as Him and He and It. The most peculiar part about it, is that it would otherwise be grammatically incorrect, if not for character building prior to its use. Only one other mention gets this treatment that is God himself, because it is grammatically correct. This suggest that it was intentionally done and subtly builds Dracula up to being a God himself, but in the reserve, almost like Dracula is a different take on Lucifer.

     It wouldn’t be an understatement to refer to him as the Shakespeare of the Gothic horror novel.

 

THEMES AND SUBTEXT

     In 121 years, I am sure a lot has been found. Some people see it as an analogy for immigration, for sexuality and the social mores at the time whilst others see it as just an adventure book.

     A lot of critics of the day didn’t quite appreciate the modernity of the story, especially featuring typewriters, among other items. One could argue that the subtext of the younger generation vs the older generations are too hard to ignore, especially when you factor in the detraction for being modern and I wouldn’t refute that idea, it is a valid take away.

     I personally think, the immigration aspect, is only a fraction of the take away that Bram most likely, subconsciously meant.

     One of Bram’s earlier works was about a young immigrant, who works at a theater and is married to a faithful wife, when they immigrate to London so the man can get a better job. He becomes paranoid of his wife’s infidelity, which would have been a bigger no no then, then it ever was.  It ends with him killing his wife.

     Now, what could that have to do with Dracula? Well, some of that book is autobiographical. Bram, who worked at a theater, immigrated with his wife to London, seeking better work. The only difference is his wife, as far as we know, wasn’t unfaithful, nor did Bram kill his wife. Given this aspect, it is tough to ignore that Dracula is really a fish out of water story, with Dracula as analogous to Bram himself and representative of his fears of leaving his home country, moving to London and being an outsider. Much like Bram showcased his knowledge of multiple topics through prose, such as chemistry, philosophy, science and psychology, so too, did Dracula, who wanted to fit in. Bram, clearly being sociable, exhibited a desire to assimilate to the culture. It should also be noted that all of those who didn’t quite appreciate the book, happen to be hugely Anti-social, the most notable of which was H.P. Lovecraft, scoffing about the book being great because it had an editor. Lovecraft’s criticism is invalidated when you realize he was anti-social, but also, racist as hell. Clearly he couldn’t relate to Bram and as such, he didn’t enjoy the novel, which is a shame and quite the contradiction for an anti-social human. I also believe Lovecraft was jealous, because he couldn’t write half as well as Bram could and it was noticeable in his thoughts on the book.

     Regardless, I believe immigration is the right take away from this, albeit, in a different context than most suppose it to be.

CONCLUSION

     Bram Stoker is one of the best writers to have ever lived. Despite minuite flaws, such as lack of character arc, some literary solipsism, since you have to be really well read to appreciate this deeper, I can’t help but see it as the near perfect novel it is. I took three pages of notes and still feel this review to be too short, as there is so much more that can still be said on this book after 121 years. It stood the test of time because it really is the best of the genre and no one has come close, not even Stephen King himself, to beating Bram as best horror writer ever.

     This is one of the few books that you can finish and desire to read again, right away. It is more than a novel, it is an experience. Older reviews from the time, point out its gory nature, but it isn’t there. They imagined it because Bram was a genius in how he wrote. Much like Halloween, the 1978 original, you only think it was a blood bath, the reality is so more was left to be imagined.

     The only suitable score for this book is

10 stars out of 5.

———-
Minor corrections to the text, 11th OCT 2018 9:18 pm

Kageoween: Frankenstein Book Review

INTRODUCTION

     Frankenstein, for all the pop culture surrounding it, isn’t a horror novel. Not in the traditional sense anyways. I see that as a shallow view of the book and a literal interpretation. Much has been said over the years about it dealing with fear of technology, science and modern advancement and given the history of the era, one cannot be faulted for thinking such, especially because Christianity still had a massive foothold. What about the book in 2018 though? If anything, Frankenstein is about the horror of humanity and its decrepit ugliness towards anything that is left of center or queer and the plight of humanity vs growth.

     The book follows multiple narratives and interweaves an intriguing story that really only drags in the middle. The rest of the book advances at a great pace and tells the story with prose that is stylistic, as opposed to seeming outdated. It’s quite easy to understand, although the narrative switch for me, wasn’t exactly clear at one point. Despite all that, the book and its central themes are fantastic with very little to complain about.

CHARACTERS
     The book has three main point of views, Victor Frankenstein as told through a primary narrator named Robert Wolton, the monster itself and various others through letters. Legend has it that the book was created as the result of a party were all guest agreed to write a horror story and this is the result of such. Marry Shelly was alleged to have struggled with coming up with an idea, which the multiple point of views tend to allude to.

     Victor Frankenstein has the most development of all the characters with the monster coming in second place. Everyone else, even when they seem important to the plot, are kind of just there. Not like background characters, but given the fact they have names and we’re exposed to some of their history through exposition, one would think they would have been important enough to warrant more development then they had.

STYLE AND PLOT
     Having been written 200 years ago, the prose hold up, very well. It’s similar to the modern novel in a lot of ways by exhibiting concise, basic prose, but still with evocative imagery, so that allows anyone to follow along with the story. Very accessible to the average reader with enough depth to satisfy anyone who demands more from their lit.

     The overall plot, if you can call it that, is as follows: Dr.Frankenstein created a being from unknown science, his monster took on a mind of his own. The monster taught himself to read, speak and learn. Unable to live in society, he is basically exiled and doomed to a life of loneliness, when returns to ask the good doctor to make another in his image and is refused, turning the monster to enact revenge upon him, which results in the death of both.

THEMES
     Besides writing, the themes is where the story is truly at. One could cull so many different interpretations from this work. It could be seen as the story of Lucifer, cast from heaven, making the renegade angel of enlightenment a lot more sympathetic. Given the time frame though, I doubt Mary Shelly or anyone would of consider admitting to such. One can view this as being a woman in the time frame, constantly turned away from manly endeavors that they’re just not built for, which is why this book was originally published anonymously, I’m sure and only bore her name years later.

     Other interpretations could be relating to being a monster or outcast as a teenager or in our modern area, being an Incel, since the monster is very much Incel like in demeanor with similar demands for a wife.

     Still, none of these seem like very good interpretations, but a few are dated. My own personal interpretation is the monster is representative of intellectualism, which is why the monster’s story is similar to Lucifer in the bible. There is innumerable evidence to back this up, including, but not limited to: The monster rebelling against his creator, the love for learning, being cast out and most importantly being misunderstood by the more emotional humans that plague the lands of this tale. Frankenstein is doing his best to live in a world that values emotion over logic and intelligence and is doing a poor job at such. No matter what, he is constantly exiled and seen as a monstrosity.

     When a young woman is executed for murder of a young child, the monster is undoubtedly to blame. This is fantastic use of metaphor, since the monster is intellect and the child is innocents and people fear that knowledge would lead to a loss of that innocence. So not only are the townspeople enraged, but they are also hasty to point the finger and hang an innocent woman.

     Almost every negative thing in this book is a direct cause of others letting their emotion rule them as opposed to being in control of themselves. They project their worst habits on the monster, enough though the monster is never really described. It leaves one to see the monster as the hero instead of everyone around him, who are all too willing kill, point the finger, flip out or destroy someone without due cause. It is the intriguing concept of humanity in all forms that really drives the narrative and makes it an enjoyable read.

CONCLUSION
     Frankenstein isn’t horror and the idea it is, 200 years on, is ashame. It’s called the original science fiction novel and while it has those tropes, I wouldn’t call it that either, since Sci-fi is often denoted by its obsession with technology. In a lot of ways, it is a gothic weird tale, but even that doesn’t really do the story justice in terms of describing it. The only way to really describe it, would be to call it what it is, that is character driven lit and our attitudes, prejudices and intolerance to difference in this world, no matter the era that keep this book being reprinted over and over again, to be enjoy and inspire future generations.
Five out of Five Stars