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Monday, 18 October 2021 11:34

‘Halloween Kills’ more trick than treat

Even in a Hollywood landscape constructed atop a foundation of IP-driven franchises and remakes, there are few rabbit holes as deep as the one surrounding the current iteration of “Halloween.”

The John Carpenter original is one of the classics of the horror genre; its success gave birth to a lengthy list of sequels of rapidly-diminishing quality. We got a Rob Zombie effort at rebooting, resulting in a couple of movies of middling quality. And then, in 2018, we got yet another reinvention of the franchise with David Gordon Green and Danny McBride leading the way – an effort to wipe the slate clean of the confusing and convoluted lore and reenergize the franchise. It was an effort that mostly worked.

However, the sequel to THAT movie – “Halloween Kills” – doesn’t achieve the same manner of success, instead opting to lean into over-the-top gore and an added selection of legacy characters from the franchise’s early days. And while there’s some meat on that particular nostalgic bone, Green and the rest of the filmmaking team never quite figure out how to most effectively gnaw it.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s joy to be derived from the sheer splatter factor here, as well as some moments of dark levity. It’s just that this is very obviously a middle movie, and when you already know the next movie is coming, it’s hard to make any sort of real narrative progress; it occasionally feints at some greater themes, but can’t really deliver on the follow through. In the end, what you get is largely a placeholder, a movie that exists largely because you can’t get from point A to point C without a point B. It’s fine for what it is, but ultimately, it proves disposable.

Published in Movies

Every moviegoer is different. We all have our own personal tastes. We have likes and dislikes specific to ourselves. Also – and this is important to note – we can like things that are “bad” and dislike things that are “good.” Again – taste.

This brings us to Adam Sandler.

As someone who came of age in the early 1990s, I experienced the beginnings of Sandler’s cinematic output at PRECISELY the right age. “Billy Madison,” “Happy Gilmore,” “The Waterboy” – those movies were squarely in my juvenile-humored wheelhouse. So even as I grew up and my tastes became (somewhat) more sophisticated, I maintained a real affection for Sandler and his work.

Objectively, I can look at his output and recognize its many, MANY flaws. I can watch these films and acknowledge how “bad” they are. That doesn’t change the fact that part of me still enjoys watching them. Even the REALLY bad ones.

Happily, his new film “Hubie Halloween” – the latest installment under his megadeal with Netflix – isn’t one of the outright terrible ones. It isn’t, you know, good or anything, but it’s not as awful as some of what he’s churned out in recent years. Directed by longtime collaborator Steve Brill from a script co-written by Sandler and Tim Herlihy, it’s fairly typical, the standard goofy-voiced man-child boilerplate packed with dumb jokes and stupid gags, all delivered by the usual assemblage of Sandler buddies and relatives.

It’s shaggy and sloppy in the usual ways, but there’s also a low-key cheerfulness at the heart of the movie that elevates it somewhat. It’s far from the top of the Sandlerian canon, but it’s even farther from the bottom. These days, that’s a win.

Published in Movies
Tuesday, 23 October 2018 17:09

‘Halloween’ horrifies once again

When it comes to scary movies, you can conjure up all manner of ghouls and supernatural forces. Ghosts and monsters and gibbering creatures from beyond the dimensional veil – all of that stuff can make for solid scares.

But sometimes, all you need for good horror is a guy in a mask wielding a knife. He doesn’t have any special powers or superhuman abilities. He’s just a strong psychopath with an affinity and aptitude for stabbing.

That’s what made John Carpenter’s 1978 horror film “Halloween” such a classic. Just a dude killing people on Halloween. In a lot of ways, it was the Platonic ideal of the slasher movie. Of course, the film’s success led to sequels and reboots galore, with seven installments following the original and then a pair of Rob Zombie-helmed reimaginings.

So what was writer/director David Gordon Green going to do to set his own take on the tale apart? Well, plenty, but here are the two big ones: he got Carpenter’s blessing and then basically threw away all the convoluted canon. He flushed the ridiculous lore and made a straight-up 40-years-later sequel. That’s Green’s “Halloween.”

And you know what? We’re all the better for it.

Published in Movies

PROSPECT - Stephen King fans rejoice – one of our area’s most hallowed Halloween events is bringing the works of the master of horror to life this year.

The 19th annual “Fright at the Fort” features many of King’s most loved stories, taking shape in the massive granite stronghold of Fort Knox.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 10:31

18 films for fall 2018: A Fall Movie Preview

Labor Day has come and gone, so the time has arrived for us to offer up our annual Fall Movie Preview.

2018 doesn’t have quite the luster that some past years have had – at least in terms of sheer box office appeal. There are movies that will make plenty of money, of course, but there aren’t really any of the big franchise tentpoles that we’ve seen in year’s past. There’s no MCU offering, no “Star Wars” movie.

And that’s OK.

There are some big-budget extravaganzas and some franchise sequels, as well as some original works and even a few early Oscar possibilities. Comedy and drama, sci-fi and fantasy, horror flicks and family fare – there’s something for everyone this fall.

Check it out.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:21

Haunted happenings!

A look at some of the spooky scary Halloween fun coming our way

Published in Cover Story

A three-day celebration of gore, goth and frightening fun

ORONO A celebration of all things scary is coming to the New Balance Field House on the University of Maine campus in Orono. The second annual BanGoreFest is set to take place Oct. 28-30.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 23:08

Halloween's costs don't have to be scary

Halloween is a fun event for both kids and adults alike, but it's easy to rack up the expenses when you fork out for candy, decorations and costumes.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American is expected to spend $80 on Halloween this year, up from $72 last year.

The hottest costume this year are all rooted in popular culture, including the TV show 'Game of Thrones,' and blockbuster movie superheroes such as Thor, Bateman and Spiderman. And since it is an election year, there is a lot of interest in political costumes.

Published in The Frugal Edge
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:27

Boo! Scary fun things to do this Halloween

Halloween is nigh, and there are tons of themed events taking place all over that range from fun to hair-raising. So whether you're just looking to gorge on candy and dress in a sexy/hilarious costume or to have the crap scared out of you, there's something for you. Unless you're against Halloween and all it stands for. Then you're out of luck.

Published in Cover Story
Thursday, 27 October 2011 09:34

Halloween Happenings

Halloween is a magical time of year where kids get to dress up and get candy. More and more adults are taking advantage of the holiday to dress up and party the night away. There's lots of haunting happenings all over the state. Here are a few ways to get your scare fix this Halloween.

Rocky for Equality to perform Oct. 27 - 30 The Next Generation Theater 

BREWER - The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be performed at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer on Oct. 27 through 30 at 8 p.m., with an additional show at 11 p.m. on Oct. 29. All proceeds from the show will be donated to Equality Maine.

The show is for mature audiences only! Ages 16 and up and/or parental guidance is recommended. For tickets and more information contact Becca Hodgdon at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit www.rockyforequality.org.

Published in Cover Story
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