Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween and the first film in sort of interlude. See, the last two films in the Hellraiser franchise are their own kind of bad, so I need to take a short break before wrapping this all up with them. But that gave me an opportunity to check out some of Mr. Clive Barker's other films that are tangentially related to the Hellraiser series, starting with 1990's Nightbreed.
Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween! Today's entry is the fourth film in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellraiser: Bloodline. Man, we're making good time with all this--four down and only six more to go. At this rate I'll be done well before October is over! Hm, if only I had planned for that eventuality and had some tricks up my sleeve... Anyway, let's talk about a film directed by Alan Smithee. Oh, that's never a good sign.
Happy Halloween... month! It's October, which basically means it's already Halloween. It also means it's time to whip out my annual "review a horror movie each weekday while also covering a big horror franchise" event! This is a spiritual successor to “Chwineka Watches 31 Netflix Horror Movies for October” (or CW31NHMO for short), so don't expect a concise name for the idea as a whole from me. Anywho, the second annual event is The Hellbound Halloween, where I cover all 10 currently released Hellraiser movies and a few more morsels from Mr. Clive Barker. So let's dive into what's probably the horniest big horror franchise out there!
A lot of people were prepared for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings to underperform. Beyond the chuds who predict any film not starring a white male will fail, we're still in the middle of a pandemic and theaters--enclosed spaces where you and up to a hundred strangers sit for hours, sharing the same air--aren't as popular as they used to be. But the naysayers can suck it! In addition to having a pretty good opening overall, Shang-Chi is now the highest grossing Labor Day opening weekend box office, earning over triple the previous top film, 2007's Halloween. Hell yeah!
There's a list of movies that I was excited to see before COVID hit and everything fell to shit, and The Green Knight was one such film. I can't say that I'm a huge Arthurian legend nerd--I know the stuff covered on the animated Gargoyles series and that Sir Lancelot, the best knight ever who also fucks the king's wife, was created by the French--but it's been a passing interest. But add in a spooky atmosphere and I got hooked just by the trailer. And after what feels like years of waiting, it's finally here, ready for me to watch on a Tuesday afternoon in a nearly empty theater. Progress towards life getting back on track!
Given enough time, horror movies will try to make everything creepy. I've seen a horror trailer where the "Happy Birthday" song is sung menacingly, and I gotta say, I was not impressed. But more relevant to today's post, Darkness Falls is about the Tooth Fairy killing people. I just... really? You thought people would be afraid of the Tooth Fairy? At least they had the good decency to come up with a somewhat creepy title, instead of being lazy and just calling this film The Tooth Fairy.
I think this is the first anthology I've reviewed on the blog? The only other time I've used that tag was with The Star Wars Holiday Special, and that was mostly a "for lack of a better word" situation. The Field Guide to Evil is a horror anthology that focuses on multicultural folklore, broadening our horizons by showcasing creatures and demons from around the world. But unfortunately for this film, not every story is told as well as the others. There were some shorts I loved, and others that just left me feeling meh.
Sometimes you watch a movie because an actor you like is in it. I don't remember Hellraiser: Hellworld for it's groundbreaking script, but because the prolific Mr. Lance Henriksen was in the Hellraiser sequel that took place in an video game. And... Henry Cavill was in it? I'll file that away for later, but the point still stands. So while looking for my next movie to review I saw the trailer for Wildling, recognized an actor in this, and instantly knew I had to watch it. And as a bonus, Brad Dourif--Wormtongue in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Chucky in Child's Play, and a dozen more recognizable roles--is also in this!
Everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has led to this. The Avengers and their allies stood up to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and were found wanting. Now it's up to the survivors to pick up the pieces and try to, well... avenge. This is the end of an era, except, you know, for Spider-Man: Far From Home being an epilogue to Phase Three and all that. MCU March is almost over, so let's get straight to it!
I think I can safely say that this is the biggest cinematic crossover ever. What even comes close? The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? The Monster Squad? Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Okay, that last one is a strong contender, but I digress. After 10 years of setting up characters and stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it all comes together with Avengers: Infinity War. We're in the endgame of MCU March, so heads up: a LOT happens so the review section is going to be a bit long.