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Tuesday, September 27, 2016


     There are certain horror films that resonate with audiences, causing them to want more of the story and characters which leads to a long-running series of films that inevitably become a franchise- THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, JAWS, ALIEN, HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13TH, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and so on. And there's always a black sheep of the franchise, that one film that everybody generally hates and is usually blamed for ruining said franchise. HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH and FRIDAY THE 13Th PART V: A NEW BEGINNING are two perfect examples of this and are generally brought up when it comes to "bad" films in a franchise- although they are usually lumped in together as if they're both equally bad.  And this is simply not true.

       I've said it before and I'll say it yet again- I grew up watching HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN 2 and I found Michael Myers to be very frightening in both films. I thought the original and the 1981 sequel made a great horror story and brought a truly iconic and frightening new movie monster to haunt our nightmares. And I was immensely ready to follow the whole Carpenter/Hill/Wallace crazy train of a brand new film to be released each October with an all new story and characters to form some sort of annual anthology like The Twilight Zone or Tales From the Darkside, but on the big screen. Which meant no more Michael Myers, as he died at the end of the sequel and was John Carpenter's wish that he never returned. No more Jamie Lee or Donald Pleasance. And you know what? I was totally fine with all this. Usher in HALLOWEEN 3, which we all know was universally hated because it didn't have Michael Myers in it. No. Audiences just wanted more Michael killing people.

     Which brings us to FRIDAY THE 13TH. The first four films featuring Jason Voorhees are prime examples of the 1980's slasher and honestly are the strongest slasher series of all time, if you ask me. I personally hated every HALLOWEEN movie after part 3, as they never even came close to capturing the mystery and terror of Michael in the first two films. Yet the first four FRIDAY films are solid entries and brought something new to the table each time. However, FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING brought nothing new to the table as it was just a tired retread of the first four, whereas the third HALLOWEEN film is far superior in writing, acting, directing, editing, and camera work. There was obviously loads of talent that went into the making of HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH, it's just audiences weren't ready to embrace the dark undertones as it was ahead of its time. It's now a bona fide cult classic that generally gets tons of praise on its actors, the director, and cinematographer. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING had zero talent involved, and it's painfully obvious while watching. All the magic of the first four is nowhere to be seen in the fifth installment. It's crass and cheap and looks it- yet watching HALLOWEEN 3 today on blu-ray you're astounded at how well the film holds up. Now I'm not saying HALLOWEEN 3 is a masterpiece, as the film certainly has its own faults. What I am saying though is that a group of very talented people went out on a creative limb in a boldly original and downright ballsy move to make HALLOWEEN 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH. Had they resurrected Jason with the sixth installment (which is far superior), instead of the awful Part 5, well now that would be a different story entirely. There was simply no valid reason for making part 5- audiences assumed the last film was truly the final chapter and that was that. Besides, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET had exploded, so once again there was really no point in bringing Jason back. It was an anemic sequel that injected nothing new into the mythology of Camp Crystal Lake, and looked like it was made for about $100. I'm not shy about my disdain for A NEW BEGINNING, so there's that. Besides HALLOWEEN 3 has a much cooler movie poster and soundtrack. I'm just saying.

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