I guess it makes sense that Scream--the unoriginally titled fifth movie in the Scream franchise--came out a little over a decade after Scream 4, since Scream 4 came out a decade after Scream 3. It's the franchise that just can't stay dead and refuses to let Sidney Prescott live a happy life. No, it's a neverending parade of misery, as people around her are deranged enough that murdering people for clout seems like a good idea. I mean, it makes for a fun watch, but it's a bit depressing when you think about it too hard.
I know phrases like "this was the most X entry in the franchise yet!" get tiring after a while, but by this point I've seen all four Scream movies and can fairly safely say that Scream 3 is the most meta yet. For those who don't know, "meta" is not just Facebook's rebranding, but short for "metafiction," or the idea that a piece of fiction reminds the audience that it is indeed fiction. The Scream franchise has always been a look at the horror genre as a whole, but now the focus goes to examining unnecessary sequels. It's slightly more subtle than The Matrix Resurrections, for reference, but I'll get to that another day.
Man, it sure sucks to be Sidney Prescott. If it wasn't bad enough that her boyfriend tried to kill her--spoilers for the first Scream, I guess, even though I have no idea why you would read this post if you didn't know the events of the first film--but her life continues to be a nightmare over the next several sequels. The girl just can't catch a break! And so we continue the franchise with Scream 2, a sequel with some parts much better than the original, but overall just not as up to snuff. It was fine, is what I'm saying.
Good heavens, would you look at the time! Why, it's time for a franchise! And how very topical, since Scream--which is what we're calling the fifth movie because sure, why not--is coming out this month and I'm... um... hm. Okay, so the original plan for January was to watch movies by Mr. Ulli Lommel, who I fucking hate because he made some of the worst garbage I've ever seen. Then I found out that Scream was coming out on the 14th, so I canceled those plans and pivoted to the Scream franchise with the intent of wrapping it all up with the new movie. And then the Omicron variant hit and I can't shake a stick without hitting someone who's caught COVID in the past two weeks. In person hangouts are being trashed and the thought of going to a theater is just... it's too risky. But I'd already watched the first two films in anticipation of this, so here we are. 2021 is off to a great start.
I had the option to watch something good for today's post. Friends have recommended Make the Yuletide Gay to me for a while now, but for whatever reason I just wasn't feeling it at the moment. No, I was in the mood for something absolutely awful. Just some utter dogshit. But because it's December--Christmas Eve today, in fact--it has to be festive. Well good thing there's Red Christmas, a movie about an aborted fetus that survived and seeks revenge on his mother (Mrs. Dee Wallace). No, this isn't the only "survived being aborted" movie, and yes, I'll get to Hanger someday. But today we talk about Cletus the fetus in this movie that's barely about Christmas.
During October, I came across a list of queer horror movies recommended by writers for NBC News. I'd already reviewed four films on it--Fear Street: 1994, Bit, The Perfection, and Stranger by the Lake*--and the rest are saved to my to-do list. One movie not mentioned was The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror, probably because while this is an undoubtedly gay film, it's fucking terrible. I honestly don't know how else to describe it beyond it being an incredibly homophobic gay film.
All things must come to an end, and both the Hellbound Halloween event and the Hellraiser franchise count as part of "all things." I've covered 9 movies about Hell and Pinhead (with a brief interlude of other stories by Mr. Clive Barker), and Hellraiser: Judgment is the last. It's a bit of an over-exaggeration to say that the quality of the franchise decreased with every sequel, but the last half is more bad than good. Gary J Tunnicliffe--who also directed Hellraiser: Revelations--wanted to make a really good entry, and he ended up with two of the worst. Kind of like how Simon Kinberg wrote both X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Dark Phoenix! Nerd burn!
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.
I can understand the logic behind wanting to make a knockoff movie. Something is popular, so some would want to get on the bandwagon before interest dies down. But CORN is just... confusing. Sure, there's the 2020 Children of the Corn prequel/reboot, but apparently only 10 people saw it and I'm not sure if it will ever have a digital release (trust me, I've spent a lot of time looking into it). And as I have said multiple times, Children of the Corn is nobody's favorite horror franchise. But it's okay! Because CORN's plot has absolutely nothing to do with anything resembling the plot of a CotC film! So why is is even called that? Well...
I don't want to come off as some sort of movie snob or purist. There are many different ways to tell a story, and sticking to a rigid structure is not always the best course of action. Case in point, Hellraiser: Inferno was a detective mystery that had some Hellish aspects, and I think it worked. But I guess Miramax thought they could try the same formula and create another interesting movie out of a script previously unrelated to the franchise. But no. Hellraiser: Hellseeker sucks and I hate it. Welcome back to the Hellbound Halloween. We're officially in the bad half of the franchise.