From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Final Destination & Halloween II - D

The Final Destination
Rated R for strong violent/gruesome accidents, language and a scene of sexuality, 82 minutes

Halloween II
Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence throughout, terror, disturbing graphic images, language, and some crude sexual content and nudity, 101 minutes

Please, no more - two bloody terrible horror films open today, and neither is worth it

I generally don't review films together but given that there are two horror films opening today that weren't screened in advance for critics, I thought I'd make an exception. Both are popular horror film franchises with a storied pedigree and like the horror film genre in general, have a built-in audience waiting for their release. One of these, "The Final Destination," is also being released in 3-D, a clear gimmick in this case to draw people in to a bad movie. If you've seen the other installments of "Final Destination" or "Halloween" you know what to expect: loads and loads of gratuitous violence, buckets of blood and bad acting.

Let's begin with "The Final Destination." If you're not familiar with this franchise, this is about how a group of young people cheat death after one has a premonition that they'll all die in some highly improbable, horrific accident. This time, it's some dude named Nick (Bobby Campo), who has the dream while at NASCAR-like event, and a freak accident occurs. He and his pals escape, cheating death, but death eventually catches up to them all. This thing was mildly entertaining about 10 years ago when it first came out, but each one gets more lame and laughable with each installment, as the producers and writers look for inventive (and highly unrealistic) ways to die. They say there are a million ways to die but this is ridiculous. A hair salon, at a mall, at a car wash and many more. The only recognizable name is Mykelti Williamson, otherwise known as "Bubba" from "Forrest Gump," who obviously needs the cash in trash like this. Don't waste your time, even the 3-D isn't worth it. Let's hope this truly is the FINAL destination, no more please.

Next is the Rob Zombie "Halloween II" remake. A couple of years ago, noted horror film director Zombie did his bizarre take on the 30-year old franchise, updating it with a few unusual twists and of course loads of blood. I wasn't a huge fan of his first remake, and this second installment is more of the same: excessive, dirty and very graphic violence, with more of his bizarre touches and view on the whole Michael Myers persona. Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) struggles to come to terms with her brother Michael's (played by professional wrestler Tyler Mane) deadly return to Haddonfield, Illinois; meanwhile, Michael prepares for another reunion with his sister.

If you saw Zombie's first installment (or really any of his other horror films), or any of the "Halloween" films, you've already seen this one too. The strange thing is that Zombie manages to assemble a decent cast - Malcolm McDowell (who I thought was killed in the first one but go figure), Brad Dourif - even long lost Margot Kidder (Lois Lane from the original "Superman" movies) gets in the act here. None of that matters, or really makes a difference, because most folks will go out for the blood and the new ways that Zombie will find to kill people. He tries to add some very bizarre Myers backstory, but it's even more ridiculous than it was the first time around. Zombie's sledgehammer approach to directing and writing isn't much better, either. Definitely don't bother with this one unless you really enjoy this type of thing; the ending (unsurprisingly) leaves it open more for more of these, which there probably will be.

The summer will go out with a bang this weekend, just don't expect quality, but an excessive amount of violence and gore.