Children of the Corn (1984)

 

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Yes, yes…I KNOW they remade Children of the Corn several years ago…but WHY would I watch THAT when I can torture my kids with the original?

The kids and I had a lively discussion as to whether Isaac or Malachi was creepier. I was steadfastly on team Isaac, because he talked like a Televangelist and clearly had the face of an old man (duh, the actor was a very short adult), but the kids said Malachi, mostly because of the ginger mullet. Even my husband piped up for team Malachi, claiming that Malachi was the origin of claim that gingers have no soul. Isaac wore that scary ass hat, like the preacher in Poltergeist 2…Isaac also rose from the dead after his ride on the rocket powered corn crucifix.

I forgot about the rocket powered corn crucifix…that is my favorite part!

My least favorite part? I was super scared by the tunneling under the dirt when I was a kid…that scared the bejeesus out of me and it STILL raises goosebumps when I see it.

Not only does Amazon Prime Movies have the original to watch, but ALL of the sequels…I don’t think I can handle all that corn.

It Chapter Two

 

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Bill Hader is a National Treasure. His portrayal of the grown Richie “Trashmouth” Tozier was the glue that held this film together.

Not to say that it was falling apart by any means, but the second half of the film was missing the the taut tension of the first. By the time it came time for the group to hunt Pennywise, I wanted them to just get it fucking over with already.

Overall, the casting was very, VERY good. Not only were excellent actors selected, but the actors chosen were physically and tonally similar to their young counterparts. The only one that I had a bit of disconnect with was Ben Hanscom, but that might just be because I loved John Ritter’s portrayal so much.

People LOVE to bitch about how the movies don’t measure up to the book – I’ve been guilty as well. I’m not even mad about the pluses and minuses to the story for the film adaptation, except for a single detail – Ben’s story. I loved the tiny revenges in his story and was looking forward to hearing it. I also loved the callbacks to the TV version, including my all-time favorite line, “Kiss me, fat boy.”

Speaking of details from the book, I was shocked that the film started off with the story of Adrian Mellon. Adrian’s brutal assault is more gut wrenching and hard to watch than any of Pennywise’s attacks. Wait, except for Spider-Stan – I did NOT enjoy that fucking creepfest AT ALL.

Throughout the film, one of the running gags was giving Bill Denbrough shit about not being able to write a decent ending, also a common criticism of Stephen King (I tend to agree, although it gives me a chuckle to remember how he circumvented this criticism in the Dark Tower series.) I was fully prepared for the digs to be a set-up for changing the ending here…and I wasn’t disappointed. As convoluted as the book ending was, and as ridiculous as the TV version ending was, it wasn’t hard to improve upon. I feel like the screenwriters got it right here, and gave a more philosophical and proper end to the film.

Like the first film, we also bought this one on DVD – it’s worth owning. I’m also looking forward to checking out the special features and behind-the-scenes stuff.

Pet Sematary II

 

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Remember the early 90s, when Edward Furlong was in every fucking movie? What a time to be alive.

I can’t remember for sure, but I might even have seen it in the theater? Or maybe we just rented it – I feel like my mind is going…I cannot remember things like that anymore!

This movie has fuck-all to do with the original, except for the Pet Sematary itself. I mean, the bad teens tell the crazy story of the Creed Murders, but that’s it. Oh, and the nutty ass Vet talks about Church.

Oh, and I blew my kids’ minds when I told then that the bad guy Gus was also Mr. Krabs.

I need to find the soundtrack in a flea market or something – I forgot how good it was. L7 Shitlist, more famous for appearing in Natural Born Killers just a few years later. The rest is just BAU, heavy 90s stuff.

It was really unclear to me in that nightmare scene – was Anthony Edwards having sex with that dog? I mean, he was dreaming about having sex with his ex-wife and she had the dog’s head. He wakes up, mid-thrust and O-face, and the dog is on top of him. My husband says NO, because he was still wearing his slacks, but I don’t know…

We all agreed that this one wasn’t as good as the first one, but still a fun watch. Now Lily wants to watch Carrie – I cannot WAIT to see if it traumatizes her as much as it did me!

Pet Sematary

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Lily had been begging to see this freaky ass movie for weeks. It’s Sunday afternoon, gross and rainy – so why not?

Pet Sematary was the very first Stephen King book I ever read – the summer between 6th and 7th grade. I remember vomiting the night after finishing it, but as an adult, it was more likely the after-effect of too much sugar at Astroworld…but at the time, I was convinced that the end of the book was so disturbing that it physically impaired me. My son has been trying to read it as well…again, he’s bored.

The movie, however, was a sensation to us as kids. I clearly remember renting it for a slumber party and it had us screaming! My poor friend Karen, I still feel bad about putting her through it. That one scene…the achilles heel scene…still makes my butthole pucker whenever I think about it. (My kids screeched during that scene – it was glorious!) Oh, and that bullshit with Zelda…I had more nightmares about Zelda than that freaky little kid.

The movie stands the test of time – it still shocks and repels, especially the ending. I just heard that they’re remaking Pet Sematary, riding the coattails of It, I guess. Sure, remake all of them – except Tommyknockers – that book was shit.

It (2017)

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My procrastination in watching the new It was twofold. First off, It is my favorite Stephen King book and Tim Curry’s Pennywise holds a special place in my heart as the scariest movie villain EVER. If I am scrolling through the guide and I see the mini-series, I’m dropping whatever I’m doing and watching it. So even though reviews were phenomenal, I was hesitating. I just didn’t want to be disappointed – which is why I’m avoiding The Dark Tower as well.

My second driver was my kids. My son is currently reading the book – or trying to. He is having a really hard time getting into it. I finally gave up the wait and we had a family movie night. (If you’re wondering if the 10 year old daughter was a factor – she wasn’t. NOTHING scares her.)

I needn’t have worried – the remake was enthralling. Bill Skarsgård fully reimagined Pennywise – his deranged portrayal will be the gold standard for horror villains of the 10s (that was awkward as fuck to type). There is room in my hard, little, blackened heart to love both the new Pennywise and Tim Curry’s portrayal…WHO, as a matter of fact, will be coming to Frightmare in 2019. Tickets already bought!

I fully support fast-forwarding the plot to the 80s. I also get why they moved around some of the plot points – making Ben the Historian, making Eddie a little less of a pussy, etc. The masterful turn though, was turning the kids into amateur detectives. Looking for Georgie gave them more of a motive to fight Pennywise – well done. I also support the things they left out – although, I was hoping to see the notorious gang bang scene rewritten as just kissing, which it sorta was? I also think the BJ scene would’ve worked, but I get why it wasn’t included.

By the way, I don’t watch Stranger Things, so I have no comparisons for you. (I used to have Netflix , but since moving out to BFE, my sad little 1.5mbps internet connection cannot handle the joy of Netflix.)

Now that casting has been announced and filming has started on the next chapter, I am DYING to see it. James McAvoy. Jessica Chastain. Bill Hader. Chapter Two is gonna be LIT.

Cell

I feel like the world needs a John Cusack/Samuel L. Jackson buddy/road trip movie right now. Now, more than ever, we need the joy that those two can bring us. (“I want these motherfucking snakes out of my motherfucking earnest romantic comedy!” or something to that effect?)

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That’s why it’s so irritating that this film quietly slipped onto Premium Cable. I remember reading about that the film would be made, then nothing. No theatrical release, at least that I noticed. All of the reviews I saw online point to the film being released in the summer of 2016, but I didn’t notice it then either. It was likely VOD, which I ignore, because I’m a cheap bastard.

Usually, shitty treatment like that is an indicator of an extra-shitty film. Cell isn’t a great film, but it’s far from shitty. In fact, it starts out really great, with a powerfully chaotic intro scene that leaves one a bit breathless. Or maybe I just felt that way because I had a raging cold when I watched it – hard to tell. In any case, the film soon hit a brick wall and became a struggle to watch. By the end of the film, I simply didn’t care what happened to John Cusack…and the ending was so vague, I’m really not sure what DID happen to him. I’ve formulated four distinct scenarios, but I’m not sure about any of them. I don’t require that a film exactly follow its source material (see The Mist), but why edit together 4 different things that don’t make sense?

1408 is on my watch list now – several people have told me it’s SO much better, plus Cusack and Jackson again.

When I originally read Stephen King’s book several years ago, it had gripped me in a way he hadn’t managed to in years. It wasn’t an overly original concept, especially keeping in mind The Stand, but it was prescient enough to allegorize how our pre-iPhone society might become even more zombified. King had the foresight to hint about where our society was heading, not knowing that reality would turn out so much worse. Our president tweets out insanity every morning while he takes a shit. Yes, it’s so much worse than Stephen King could even imagine.

…And the moral of the story? Never, ever, EVER build a cell tower on top of an old Indian burial ground.

Carrie (2013)

Well, what’s the point of this now? The original is a classic, though not untouchable…there was a regrettable sequel in 1999 and then a mediocre TV remake on 2002. So what are they doing here?

It’s not horrible I guess. Chloë Grace Moretz was an interesting choice to play Carrie. She’s generally regarded as a good actress and I guess she is…but it seemed that most of her acting was done by flaring her nostrils. Maybe it’s her signature affectation – like Clooney’s headbobbing or the way Nicolas Cage slowly walks away from explosions.

You can’t make Julianne Moore unbeautiful. It’s just not possible. Even with no makeup and frizzy hair, playing Whackadoo Mrs. White, she’s stunning. She’s not quite as scary as Piper Laurie, but she’s pretty fucking scary. Coincidentally, Julianne Moore has history of starring in pointless remakes… Psycho anyone?

It wasn’t horrible, but this remake didn’t bring anything new to the table. Yes, it met it’s main objective, which was to be more twisted – but it wasn’t in a new way. The mother stabbed herself in the leg with a seam ripper – ooooh, she’s crazier. Carrie killed people more violently and gleefully. So? Chris was more of a bitch. Again, so what? Making a film more extreme, doesn’t necessarily make it better.

Carrie

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They’re all gonna laugh at you! They’re all gonna laugh at you!

Adam Sandler aside, this is a funny funny film. Funny because it was made in 1976, the year I was born. Funny because it scared the living crap out of me as a kid. Funny because we loved it so much that we had a ‘Carrie’ themed party in college.

Carrie is so ridiculously dated, that it must almost seem like a parody of itself now. John Travolta in his pre-scientologist days is such a hoot, oozing sexuality and dorkiness in equal measure. On the other hand, The Greatest American Hero takes poor Carrie to the dance, but you feel sorrier for her for having to put up with his cheesy fro.

It’s no wonder that Piper Laurie was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Carrie’s bible beating mother. She was hands down scarier than telekinesis, pig’s blood or ghostly hands from the grave. I would have to attribute most of my fear of Christianity to that scary bitch. Nothing is scarier to a child than being stabbed by their own mother, especially a crazy, Christian mother. After watching Carrie at about the age of seven, I was too scared to sleep in my own bed. I would creep out of my bed in the middle of the night and sleep on the couch. I’m not sure why I preferred to sleep on the couch, instead of in my room, but I sure wasn’t crawling into my parents’ room. I could hear my dad snoring from my own room.

I finally got over my fear of Carrie enough to enjoy it by the time I was in college. Erin and I decided that our theme for Halloween would be Carrie/Prom Night. So we rented Carrie and all the Prom Night movies and went for it. Erin was Carrie and I was the chick from Prom Night. (No, not Jamie Lee Curtis, the other one.) What do you think? No one would come near us, we were sopping wet. Though it was convenient that a frat boy came to the party dressed as a tampon (I have a picture, but I’m not posting it – it’s gross), he didn’t know what we meant when we yelled “PLUG IT UP!” at him…

PS – Don’t watch The Rage: Carrie 2!

The Rage: Carrie 2

LAME.

90 minutes of lame-ass shit was not worth the 10 minutes of cool shit in this film.

Harpoon through the crotch was cool. Fireplace poker through 2 heads, in one shot, was cool. The chick from American Beauty nose diving into a car was cool. Being shot with a flare gun was almost cool. Everything else in the film was not cool.

The plot was so contrived that it made WWF Smackdown look real. Rachel had none of the psychosis that the original Carrie had. She wasn’t plain or ugly. She had a good personality. She got made fun of anyway. (Unfortunately, that is the ONE thing about this film that is like real life – in High School, who gets made fun of is an arbitrary decision made by the popular kids.) Plus, if every girl who got fucked and dumped jumped off of a building, there would be a pile of dead girls in the parking lot of every high school on the planet!

Lame. Not even worth renting. Wait until it is on cable and just watch the last 10 minutes. Make sure and turn it off before you have to see the “One Year Later” section of the film. It is the lamest part of the entire film.