ALEX SCHADRIE | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST
Halloween (1978): Halloween is a time to dress up in costumes and go to different houses to receive candy, but for Michael Myers, Halloween is a time for murder. The film starts in 1963 on Halloween night when a young Michael Myers, dressed up in a clown outfit, kills his older sister, Judith Myers (Sandy Johnson) and walks out with the murder weapon still in his hand. Fifteen years later, a now adult Michael Myer (Nick Castle) escapes from the Warren County Smith’s Grove Sanatorium and starts stalking a young woman named Laurie Strode (Jaime Lee Curtis). Now it is up to Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Michael’s psychiatrist, to stop Michael and save Laurie before Michael can get his hands on her. Besides a few jump scares scenes, the music playing whenever Michael is near adds suspense to this film.
Rating: 4 stars
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984): Dreams have always been a place where people can live out their personal fantasies, but what if people could actually die in their dreams? In “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” a teenager named Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) is starting to have weird and terrifying dreams involving a man with burned skin and a clawed glove on his right hand. As her friends begin to mysteriously die in their sleep, Nancy discovers that the man is named Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and that he is killing people in an act of revenge against those that killed him. After discovering that she could pull things from her dreams into the real world once she wakes up, Nancy decides that Freddy needs to be stopped once and for all. While there are a lot of elements related to horror such as a lot of blood and gore, I would have to say that this film is not quite as scary as one might think.
Rating: 3 stars
Friday the 13th (1980): Friday the 13th has always been a day of horror for some due to the superstition of back luck. In this first installment of the “Friday the 13th” franchise, a group of counselors prepare to reopen Camp Crystal Lake, which has had quite a past ever since a boy named Jason Voorhees drowned in the lake. When a thunderstorm hits the camp and the counselors are forced to ride the storm out, things start to go from bad to worse when nearly all of the counselors, except for Alice Hardy (Adrienne King), are killed by a mystery killer. Overall, I felt this film used a lot of blood and gore, as well as a few surprises to make this film more terrifying. One of the biggest things that I was disappointed with was that instead of Jason being the killer, it was his mother, Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer), who killed the counselors of Camp Crystal Lake after her son drowned while the counselors were not watching him.
Rating: 3 stars
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974): Whenever people think about Texas, some of the words that they probably think about cowboys and oil, but how about: massacre, cannibal or chainsaw. In the ’74 version of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain) and their friends, Kirk (William Vail), Jerry (Allen Danziger), and Pam (Teri McMinn), visit Sally’s grandfather’s house after visiting his grave, which may have been involved in a string of grave robberies. Once they arrive at the house, Kirk and Pam go for a swim in a swimming hole and afterwards are attacked by Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), a man wearing a mask made of human skin. After a while, the rest of the group decides to go search Kirk and Pam, but Jerry and Franklin end up getting killed and Sally is captured and held captive by Leatherface and his family of cannibals. As a whole, I found this movie very disturbing due to some of the themes that were presented, but I also found this film a little tame due to the lack of scenes of people are getting cut up by Leatherface.
Rating: 2 stars
Child’s Play (1988): Dolls, perhaps one of the most popular kinds of toy in the world, but what would happen if a doll actually has a killer side to it. In “Child’s Play” a killer named Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) is shot while trying to escape from the police and ends up transferring his soul into a Good Guy Doll using a Haitian voodoo spell. The next day, the doll that contains Ray’s soul, now named Chucky, is bought by Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) as a birthday present for her son, Andy (Alex Vincent). Now free to exact revenge on those responsible for his death, Chucky starts going on a killing spree, but eventually learns that his body is becoming more human, so he must transfer his soul into Andy, since he was the first person that he revealed his identity to. While this film is considered to be a horror movie, I personally found the plot a little too cheesy and the character of Chucky to be a little too silly to be scary.
Rating: 2 stars