I've changed my mind a bunch of times about what should be the last weekday horror movie in October that's not a part of the Hellbound Halloween. Lot of caveats there, I know. I eventually decided it would be one of the movies I was going to watch for this week's Movie Night. And the selections were... very different. The Gay Bed and Breakfast of Terror is a bad movie and I have a lot to say about it, but that's going to have to wait until November cause I want to talk about something actually good before the month is over. And foreign! I really need to watch more non-English movies!
On the surface, Lord of Illusions has very little to do with the Hellraiser franchise. One is about a shrewd detective in way over his head among supernatural nonsense, while the other is all about Hell. But what if I were to tell you that they take place in the same universe? Because that's absolutely the case, straight from Mr. Clive Barker himself. So this film actually does fit into this year's October themed event, The Hellbound Halloween! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Last year I said that The Blair Witch Project is a great film, and I will always stand by that statement. Sure, it unleashed a plague of cheap found footage garbage, but can you really blame the good thing for all the cheap knockoffs that follow? Speaking of cheap knockoffs, this year we're talking about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a mistake on just about every level. Sure, that sounds a bit unfair, but how else am I supposed to feel about a movie called "Book of Shadows" that doesn't ever feature--or even reference or mention--a spooky and/or witchy book? So the title is a lie, right out the gate? Fan-fuckin-tastic.
I know I said that last week's episode, “What If the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?” was my new favorite episode of What If...?, but that's no longer the case. "What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?" continues the series' fine tradition of clunky episode titles, but it delivers a compelling tale of love and loss that also actually involves the Watcher! You know, the omniscient narrator of the whole thing? He gets to actually do something! Kind of.
Previously, I watched Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure, a made-for-TV Star Wars spin off for kids that was... fine. It was fine. I've definitely seen worse kids movies and worse Star Wars films. But then there's its sequel, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. While the first film is a story of togetherness--children teaming up with teddy bears to save their parents--the second film is darker, but also no longer fine. Kinda bad, in fact.
I did it! I actually took the time to reread The Fear Street Saga books! And it's a good thing I did, because the parallels between that trilogy of books and this trilogy of movies are... uh... Okay, so there's next to no connection and I can't get too excited about reading a novella written for teenagers, but still. Back to the topic on hand, Fear Street: 1666 ties all the threads from Fear Street: 1994 and Fear Street: 1978 together, revealing the truth behind all the bad things that happen in Shadyside. And I'm going to talk around that as this is a mostly spoiler free review. Yup, being super inconsistent about that with this trilogy.
Okay, so I didn't actually reread The Fear Street Saga as I suggested I might while talking about Fear Street: 1994, the first in this trilogy of horror. I'm going to try again this weekend, but I make no promises. It's not like it really matters anyway, since these films are more inspired by the Fear Street series, as evidenced by Sarah Fier being a central character in the films who isn't in the books. With that out of the way, I do have something positive to report: my expectations for Fear Street: 1978 were pretty low, and this movie sailed over them! It's not perfect, but it's better than most Friday the 13th films, so it gets thumbs up from me. Prepare for full spoilers this time, cause I want to talk about that ending twist.
One thing this blog lacks (as of writing) is an "About the Author" page. I've thought about it multiple times and even have a draft saved, but so far nothing has felt quite right. Early on I even considered doing a series of posts where I explain my history with the horror genre: from AOL public domain stories posted around Halloween by some guy named "Lovecraft" to The Fear Street Saga, three books that told the history of the cursed town Shadyside. I even still have those books! Well, imagine my surprise when they announced a trilogy of Fear Street movies inspired by the book series of the same name. Hell, they even got Mrs. Leigh Janiak--the director of Honeymoon, one of my favorite movies--to direct all three! These movies were specifically made for me, which is a bit sad cause the first one was... it was fine. It's fine. It was fine.
I want you to know that there are times when I go above and beyond for this blog. Netflix has the Oh My Ghost films, a Thailand horror/comedy series starring a group of aging kathoeys--kind of like drag queens, kind of like trans women, kind of a third gender option... Similar to "baklâ" in the Philippines, which I talked about in the ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh post. But I wasn't satisfied with those films, because there's a piece missing. Oh My Ghost is marketed as the first of four films, but it's actually the second of something like six. The first is Haunting Me, AKA Hor Taew Tak, translated to something like Taew's Dormitory is Broken. But Netflix doesn't have Hor Taew Tak, so I spent far too much time searching before finding it on AsianCrush. Let's hope that's a trustworthy website, cause we're continuing Pride Month by taking about haunted ladyboys from Thailand!
As I threatened on Friday while talking about Darkness Falls, there is more than one horror movie where the villain is a witch called the Tooth Fairy. But where Darkness Falls had some effort put into it, 2006's The Tooth Fairy is bad on just about every level. The monster is disappointing, the characters are bland, and the whole thing is a waste of time.