Friday The 13th II (1981)

Jason’s mum is dead, and Camp Crystal Lake is shut down, but a camp next to the infamous place hosts a counselor-in-training program.

Let’s get this out of the way: starting a movie with a recap from the previous chapter is bad and useless. With that in mind, I already enjoyed the start of the movie much less than the original. As for the rest, I wish that I could keep in mind that it was 1981 and that slashers were a brand new genre… Unfortunately, I can’t. I write this post in 2021 and I’ve seen a lot of better movies since then. I can’t erase 40 years of horror just to write an objective piece.

The second part of Friday The 13th is not horrible but it isn’t good either, the new camp crew is boring, the kills are uninventive and unentertaining and the end is unsatisfying. This sequel is like its vilain, ever-decomposing and always returning to screw something that was fun.


Friday The 13th (1980)

Summer is here, the perfect time for a complete rerun of Friday the 13th… So, for more than 2 months, we’re going to rewatch a movie of the franchise every Saturday night. We started last week-end with the first instalment from 1980.

“In 1957, a young boy named Jason drowns in a lake near Camp Crystal Lake. The next year, two counselors are murdered. In 1980, a descendant of the original owners reopens Camp Crystal Lake with some counselors’ help. The counselors gets killed one by one by a mysterious person. Could it be Jason, out for revenge?” (source: IMDB)

This movie is a legend. It’s Friday the 13th before Jason Voorhees, it’s the first “ki ki ki ma ma ma”… After so many years of being a fan, I’ve just only read on Reddit that “ki ki ki ma ma ma” is meant to resemble Jason’s voice saying “kill kill kill, mom mom mom” in Mrs. Voorhees’ mind.

Even if the original Friday the 13th is not the first slasher ever made, since the movie is widely inspired by John Carpenter’s Halloween (and the movie Meatballs), it is the first slasher ever made where people get murdered while on vacations in the wild.

The movie nears perfection in many ways: the setting is amazing (Camp Crystal Lake, the first), the sex scenes, the booze, the stupid friend, the uninterrupted rhythm of the action, the absence of drama, the soundtrack, the amount of gore… In short, it is the perfect template for a slasher.

Friday the 13th is not only a genre defining movie, it is also at the top of our all-time favourite horror movies list.


Army of the Dead

With the abandoned, walled city of Las Vegas overrun with zombies, after a disastrous government fault, the billionaire casino magnate, Bly Tanaka, realises that he has left something in Sin City: $200 million to be more precise. (source: IMDB)

We already had to run away from zombies, hide from zombies and even fight zombies… However, making a heist in a zombie infested Vegas, that is new.

I don’t know if it’s because we went in without any expectations, but we enjoyed Army of the Dead. Once again, I don’t understand the bad reviews, what do people expect? It’s a zombie movie from the 2020 era, do people really watch such a movie for its depth and character development? Does such a thing even still exists in cinema nowadays?

Anyway, we had a great Saturday evening following Dave Bautista and his team. Clearly, it isn’t an original Romero, but it does a good job at keeping the pace and delivering a new experience in the franchise. It actually makes me wanna do a complete rerun of all the “of the Dead” movies, maybe an idea for this year’s Halloween (if we don’t all turn into zombies after the vaccination).


Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

While trying to help a girl who’s running away from a killer, a young guy has to fight (and eventually participate in a quiz) to survive.

This sequel may be more gore and more violent, but it is also less enjoyable than the original. There’s a lot of dialogues, too much for a high tension slasher.

Warning: Spoilers below!

A lot of scenes are really good, but the rhythm of the movie is broken during the quiz scene. It was a good idea, but it takes too long for the captive to only lose a finger. Also, the end is disappointing. Spending so much time to capture the victim, only to release him with a note “you lose”?! It’s as if a porn movie would stop right before the final scene.

All in all, not a bad horror movie, just a disappointing sequel.


Wolf Creek (2005)

Three backpackers decide to have a road trip in the Australia outbacks. At some point, their car refuses to start and they are stranded in Wolf Creek. Later that night, a local approaches them and offers to repair their car. After a few hours towing in the dark Australian desert, they finally arrive at his place and fall asleep, only to wake up to their worst nightmare.

This time, no American hillbillies, it all happens in Australia. Naturally, we were a bit scared, Australian horror is often a hit or miss (and we witnessed more misses than hits). But Wolf Creek is great, it manages to replace the often goofy killer by a very creepy psychopath.

John Jaratt, well known in Australia at the time as the host of a gardening show, is a method actor and spent weeks living in the Australian desert preparing for the role of Mick Taylor. In addition he also avoided bathing before shooting so he would have a much more rugged appearance.

At one point during the shooting of the scene where Mick is torturing Kristy whilst Liz looks through the window, director Greg McLean wanted to get a shot of Cassandra’s POV, so he cleared the crew out of the shed in which the scene was being shot, leaving only the two actors inside. When he called action, they began playing the scene, however, after a minute, Mclean became convinced that Jarratt had gone too far and that Morassi’s cries for help were genuine. He burst into the shed only to find both actors stunned at the disruption. Morassi was fine – it had simply been the intensity of her performance which had fooled Mclean.

Unbeknown to the crew the abandoned mine where they chose to film had actually been the site of the real life murder of a woman. The filming prompted a protest from locals who erroneously thought the film was about those events.

A very eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Since the location was many hours from any town the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger showed up in a truck to investigate. The stranger indeed looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, right down to the rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew was so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp for the night. (source: IMDB)

Wolf Creek became Australia’s highest grossing R rated film with a box office achievements of $5,970,770.

I actually have a nephew who moved to Australia a few years ago… So, Thomas, if you read this, avoid the outbacks, don’t trust the locals and don’t drink their water.


Winchester

Ensconced in her sprawling San Jose, California mansion, eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester (Dame Helen Mirren) believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle. (source: IMDB)

I have absolutely nothing to say about this movies, except that it was too slow and the dialogues, especially the ones of Sarah Winchester, were way too long. I fought not to fall asleep and I eventually lost the battle. Two weeks have passed since we’ve watched the movie and I already forgot half of it. I’m writing this post to make sure that we don’t watch it a second time in a few years.


The Curse of La Llorona

A theater in Montreal, Quebec was supposed to play Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019), but this film played instead, causing the children in the audience to run out crying.

I don’t think that an horror movie ever had me cry, unless it was really bad and I cried out of boredom, which isn’t the case of this movie. Ok, it isn’t as frightening as the other movies in The Conjuring universe, but we had a good Saturday evening. It follows a simple pattern: kids are cursed – evil comes for them – the mother finds a priest who can help – big fight – evil is vanquished. Even if it isn’t really original, it worked and we didn’t fall asleep before the end.


Cabin Fever

Five college graduates rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a horrifying flesh-eating virus, which attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals. (source: IMDB)

I understand the success of Cabin Fever, this is quality old school horror. Eli Roth combined all that we love: the blood, the sex, the naked hot chick, the dumb jock, the cool guy and our beloved rednecks with shotguns. But that’s not all, the movie still manages to put a new spin on things by introducing a flesh-eating virus into the story. Apparently, Eli Roth originally got the idea for this movie while working in Iceland on a horse farm. He got such a bad skin infection from the rotting hay in the barn that his face broke out in sores, bled and peeled off when he shaved.

Not only is the movie great for a Saturday evening but it also defines the quality standard for a good slasher movie. Too bad that the rest of the franchise doesn’t follow the same path. Only the original is directed by Eli Roth, the others only share the title and are total garbage.

For the featured image, I was shared between a picture of Eli Roth and Jordan Ladd together (both also play in Death Proof), or a picture of bikini Jordan Ladd. Why not both?

Also, sentences like “This rifle is for the niggers” or “I shoot squirrels because they’re gay” would probably attract a lot of fire by the nowadays crowd. That makes me love this movie even more because I’m getting sick of the politically correct.


Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort (2014)

“An inheritance leads a young man and his friends to an abandoned resort inhabited by two sketchy caretakers and a clan of mutant cannibals.” (source: IMDB)

The final chapter is the worst of the entire franchise. It isn’t as bad as to stop the movie before the end, but it’s far from the quality of the other instalments. The Wrong Turn vibe is missing, it has been replaced by a slow plot that isn’t even rewarded by fun kills. The other chapters were about watching tourists getting slaughtered in a good slasher tradition, Last resort is about the weird reproduction of hillbilly cannibals.

The film does increase the nudity with the four different actresses taking off their clothes and there’s also some pretty weird and kinky sexual stuff going on. As for our three main killers, it’s without a doubt the most boring use of them in the series.

If you’re a fan of the show, watch it, for the sake of completion, but it isn’t representative of the franchise, at all.


The Final Girls (2015)

A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer. – Imdb

The trailer looked like this movie was going to be a badass slasher, so what could go wrong, right?! While it was entertaining, it looked like a horror for little kids. The woods looked too fairy, the few drops of blood (is this supposed to be a slasher?) looked like bright red sugar water, and there was too much emphasis on the “I’ve lost my mother” drama.

If it wasn’t for the casting, I think that we wouldn’t have been able to make it to the end. Taissa Farming, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev,… made it work.

Unlike the 80’s slashers, this movie is free of the iconic gore and nudity. For the film to be absolutely true to the genre, there should have been at least one skinny dipping or sex scene, not to mention a decent amount of splatter. All it can offer, however, is a few bloodless death scenes and a couple of the actresses showing off their bra. Shame on you guys!

One funny trivia though: During rehearsal, Thomas Middleditch tripped over the velvet rope in the movie theater. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson decided to add that as a gag in the film in order to momentarily linger on the cardboard standee for “Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer.”

All in all, we’ve watched the movie until the end, but wouldn’t recommend this to any slasher fan. Maybe it would be good for introducing your kids to the horror genre…

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