horror, movie, movie review

October 27th, 2019 Movie – Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

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Out of all of the Friday The 13th movies, this one will always have a special place in my heart because this was my first. I don’t remember how I convinced my mom to rent this for me, but one weekend found me clutching this VHS tape in my hands and eagerly waiting for everyone to go to bed so I could stay up late and watch it. I was familiar with who Jason was so seeing a movie called “Jason Lives” made me eager to see just how scary the hockey mask wearing killer really was. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

The plot: Several years after the incident at Pinehurst Halfway House, Tommy Jarvis, accompanied by his friend Allen Hawes, heads to the cemetery in the town of Forest Green, formerly known as Crystal Lake. Once there, Tommy locates Jason Voorhees’ grave and intends on destroying Jason’s body but after digging up the grave and opening the coffin, Tommy recalls the events of the past and grabs a metal fence post and begins stabbing it into the corpse. After exhausting himself, Tommy tosses a hockey mask he brought with him into the grave and moves to grab some gasoline so they can burn the body when the fence post is struck by two bolts of lightning, bringing Jason back to life. Jason grabs Tommy, who manages to get free and douses Jason with gasoline but when he goes to set him on fire, it begins to rain, dousing the match in his hand. When Hawes attacks Jason from behind with a shovel, Jason turns around and punch Hawes through his chest, ripping out his heart and causing Hawes body to fall back into Jason’s coffin. Tommy runs back to his truck and drives off as Jason reaches down and grabs the hockey mask, putting it on and heading back towards the lake. Tommy makes his way to the sheriff’s station and tells Sheriff Mike Garris what happened but Garris thinks he is trying to stir up trouble and puts Tommy in a cell after Tommy tries to graba shotgun. Meanwhile, Darren and Lizabeth, two camp counselors, are driving towards the campgrounds at Forest Green when they encounter Jason, who ends up killing both of them. The next day, Garris’ daughter Megan and her friends Cort, Paula, and Sissy arrive at the station and tell him that Darren and Lizabeth are missing but he doesn’t share their concern. Tommy, who is still in his cell, says that Jason might have gotten them and Garris quickly shoes the kids out of the station, as Megan appears to be attracted to Tommy, then tells Tommy that he is going to escort him out of his jurisdiction so he won’t have to deal with him anymore. At Camp Forest Green, Paula is still concerned about her sister Lizabeth not showing up yet and the group talks for a little while before they are interrupted by the arrival of the kids that are there for the weekend camp. Elsewhere, a group of business executives are playing paintball in the woods as part of a training exercise when they come across Jason, who kills them all. Meanwhile, Tommy is driving along, with Garris and a deputy following him, when he quickly turns down a road heading towards the cemetery, then races towards Jason’s grave, only to find that the grave has been filled, as the caretaker had filled it in that morning after discovering that it had been dug up, and an angry Garris continues to escort Tommy out of the county. That night, Jason kills the caretaker, as well as a couple who were having a romantic evening in the woods, then continues towards the campgrounds. At the campgrounds, Sissy and Paula are dealing with some frightened girls while Cort has snuck off to have sex with his girlfriend Nikki, who had driven to the camp in her step-father’s RV. When Jason arrives at the campgrounds, he rips the RV’s power cord from the outlet and when Cort and Nikki go to investigate, Jason sneaks inside the RV, then kills them both as they drive away from the campsite. At the sheriff’s station, Garris is arguing with Megan about Tommy when he receives a call from his deputy, who found the remains of Darren and Lizabeth. After Garris leaves, Tommy calls the station to try and convince Garris that Jason has returned but Megan answers the phone and after warning Tommy that her father is looking for him, she goes to pick him up. The two pick up the supplies Tommy needs to try and kill Jason for good, then head to the camp but end up encountering some police roadblocks, eventually forced to stop when they come to a second roadblock and Garris levels a shotgun at them. Back at the camp, Sissy hears a noise and thinks it is Cort trying to scare her and Paula so she goes to trick him instead but ends up being grabbed and killed by Jason. A short while later, a little girl sees Jason walking past her cabin and goes to tell Paula, carrying the bloody machete that she found on the ground with her. Paula thinks it is just Sissy and Cort playing a trick on them and tells the girl they should go find them and scare them back. At the sheriff’s station, Garris has Tommy in cuffs and is trying to convince Megan to stay away from him when they receive a call about Cort and Nikki’s accident. Garris still believes that Tommy is the killer but begins to have his doubts when Megan says that Tommy was with her when the accident occurred. Back at the camp, Paula and the girl find no sign of Cort and Sissy so Paula puts her back to bed, then heads back to her cabin. With there still being no sign of her friends, she goes to try and call the sheriff but the phone lines have been cut by Jason earlier. She then notices that the machete is missing and goes to lock the door when Jason steps through it and kills her. Back at the station, Megan tells Tommy to cause a distraction so she can grab the keys from Deputy Rick so she can free him. Tommy causes and argument with Megan and when she goes to get her sketch book back from him, he kisses her. Rick sees this and rushes to separate them but Megan uses the opportunity to grab Rick’s gun and force him to open Tommy’s cell. They then lock Rick in the cell and head to the camp, with Tommy reluctantly agreeing to take Megan with him. At the camp, Jason has entered the girls’ cabin and notices the one girl still awake but as he approaches her, he hears a car door slam and quickly leaves the cabin. Outside, Garris and two more deputies have arrived at the camp and while Garris goes to look for Paula and Sissy, he tells the deputies to look around and keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t belong but Jason ends up killing both of his deputies. Garris goes looking to Sissy and Paula’s cabin and discovers it covered in blood, then goes to check on the childrens’ cabins and discovers that the little girl is missing. Having heard one of his deputies fire his gun, Garris goes to grab the shotgun from his car then runs into the little girl. After calming her down, he sees the boys have all woken up and quickly tells them to follow him to the girls’ cabin, where he tells all of the kids to hide under the beds until he gets back. Garris heads back outside and after discovering the body of one of his deputies, he encounters Jason and starts shooting him but Jason continues to get up so Garris is forced to run. Tommy and Megan arrive at the camp and Megan goes to look for her friends only to find the bloody cabin, then goes to check on the kids. After checking to make sure Megan and the kids are ok, Tommy heads to the docks to continue his plan on killing Jason. Megan starts yelling for her dad and Tommy tells her to use her dad’s radio to call for help. Megan heads to the sheriff’s car but when she opens the door, Sissy’s head falls out. Megan then starts screaming for her dad, alerting both Jason and Garris to her presence and as Jason turns back towards the camp, Garris attacks Jason but ends up being killed. Megan heads to the dock to ask Tommy to help her find her dad but he tells her to head back to the cabin with the kids while he deals with Jason. As Tommy heads out onto the lake, Jason bursts into the kids’ cabin and Megan rushes towards them, only for Jason to grab her. Tommy yells out at Jason, who drops Megan and heads out into the lake after Tommy. Tommy has tied a chain around a large rock, then formed a noose out of the other end, intending to return Jason to the lake he drowned in and keep him there. When Jason goes underwater, Tommy pours some gasoline around his boat and drops a match onto it, creating a ring of fire around him to help him keep Jason off guard but as he looks for Jason, Jason surfaces behind him and grabs him. As Tommy struggles with Jason, Tommy manages to get the noose around Jason’s neck but Jason breaks the boat, sending both Tommy and Jason into the water. Tommy tries to swim to the surface but Jason grabs his leg and holds him underwater until Tommy stops moving, then releases him and allows Tommy’s body to float to the surface. Seeing Tommy lying motionless in the water, Megan swims out to save him when Jason grabs her and tries to drag her under. Megan manages to grab onto the back end of the Tommy’s boat and starts the motor, then maneuvers the propeller so that it begins slicing through Jason’s neck, severing enough of it so that Jason lets go of her as he appears to finally have been killed. . Megan drags Tommy back to shore and begins performing CPR on him and is eventually able to revive him and as she hugs Tommy, Tommy stares at the lake and says it is finally over as Jason is finally home but as dawn breaks over the lake, Jason is shown to still be alive underneath the water.

Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This makes it the second highest rated movie in the entire series, with only the original movie receiving better reviews. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics that liked the movie seemed to enjoy it because it seemed to poke fun at itself for how campy the series was becoming. Even though the movies have always been set at a summer camp, this is the only time where kids actually appear at the camp (not including the scene of Jason drowning). Despite being favored critically compared to the previous movies, the movie actually performed worse than them, only earning $19.4 million off of a $3 million budget.

Even though it has been a while since I last saw this movie, I still enjoyed the hell out of it. In fact, this movie is one of the most enjoyable movies in the entire franchise, and a good part of it is because of how cheesy it is. The acting was decent and while nobody really stood out, I did think that Thom Mathews (Tommy), Jennifer Cooke (Megan) and David Kagen (Garris) were pretty good in their roles. The story was actually pretty good because if you think about it, Jason’s constantly coming back after receiving fatal wounds in the 2nd and 3rd movies never really made much sense. Having him resurrected as a murderous ghoul(?) actually helps make his being an unstoppable killing machine a little more credible. I also love the fact that the movie kind of pokes fun at itself in a kind of tongue-in-cheek manner, such as the caretaker breaking the 4th wall as he refills Jason’s grave and Deputy Rick’s comments to Garris about it being Friday the 13th when they discover several bodies in the woods. The special effects were pretty decent, particularly regarding the makeup for Jason’s corpse body as I thought it was especially well done. All in all, it’s a fun movie to watch as it started a trend of not taking itself too seriously.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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drama, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

October 15th, 2018 Movie – Ghost

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Ok, another movie from the free gift collection. Once again, I have a movie that is not something I would have sought out and bought on my own, but this time I have a movie that I have seen before. This is due to my mom, who is a huge Patrick Swayze fan, and her renting many of his movies while I was a child. Now I remember seeing this movie back in the day and the main thing I remembered from it, aside from the potter’s wheel scene that has been parodied over and over again, was the shadow demons that dragged people to Hell. Now, I was a teenager when I first saw this movie and really didn’t think much of it. Let’s see if some growing up on my part will change things as I watch today’s movie, Ghost.

The plot: Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jensen buy and renovate an old apartment building to live in, with Sam’s friend and coworker Carl Bruner helping them out. As the renovations progress and they move into the building, Sam is worried as he says that every time things start looking up for him, something happens to ruin it. A few days later, Sam is at his office going over several accounts that he manages and notices that several of them have more money in them then he should. He tells Carl about this and Carl offers to help Sam look into it but Sam declines the offer, choosing to tackle it himself. That night, Sam and Molly go to the theater to see Macbeth and as they are walking home, Molly tells Sam that she wants to marry him but as they discuss it, they see someone stepping out of the shadows of a nearby alley and decide to keep walking. The man follows them and as Sam turns to confront them, the man pulls a gun on him and demands his wallet. Molly tells Sam to give him the wallet but when the mugger strikes her, Sam starts struggling with him while Molly calls out for help. After a while, the mugger runs off and Sam chases him for a little but when he returns to Molly, he finds her kneeling down cradling his body. As some people come to help her, they pass right through Sam and he sees a light shining down from the sky close by him but Sam hears Molly crying out not to leave her and he walks away from the light and towards her. Sam follows Molly to the hospital and as she goes to speak with the police about what happened, Sam is approached by an old man. The old man starts speaking to Sam, who is shocked that he can see him, and the old man reveals himself to be a ghost, like Sam is, and starts to explain things to him when they see a commotion in another operating room and the old man says that the patient won’t make it and as they watch, they see the light that Sam saw earlier shine on the patient and his spirit moves out of his body and is absorbed into the light. A funeral is held for Sam and afterwards, Molly is still depressed over his death, talking to him as if he is there, unaware that Sam’s ghost is watching her. Some time later, Molly and Carl are going through Sam’s things and Carl convinces her to get out of the house for a little bit. Sam tries to follow after them but is nervous about going through objects, when he hears someone putting a key into the lock. Sam backs away from the door, thinking it is Molly coming back, but is shocked to see it is the mugger. An enraged Sam tries to attack the mugger but is unable to touch him as the mugger begins searching the apartment for something. When Molly returns, the mugger ducks out of sight, then moves towards the bedroom to attack her but Sam is able to frighten the cat, as it can sense him, into attacking the mugger, causing him to run off. Sam decides to follow the mugger as he heads to the subway and boards a train but as Sam is on the train with the mugger, another ghost sees him and quickly approaches Sam, grabbing him and throwing him out of the car. The ghost then breaks the window, shocking Sam, and tells him that it is his train and to go somewhere else. Sam continues following the mugger to his apartment, where he learns the mugger’s name is Willy Lopez, and watches as Willy makes a call, telling the person on the other end that he couldn’t get what he was after but he will try again in a couple of days. Feeling helpless to protect Molly, Sam wanders the streets on his way back to the apartment when he sees a shop for Oda Mae Brown, a self proclaimed psychic, and he heads inside, only to find that Oda Mae is a fraud. Sam starts laughing about her scam when Oda Mae suddenly starts hearing him, shocking Sam. After causing Oda Mae to scare off her customer, Sam starts talking to Oda Mae and convinces her to call Molly and warn her about Willy. Oda Mae reluctantly agrees and calls Molly but when she tells her that she has a message from Sam, Molly hangs up. Sam tells Oda Mae to go see her, singing all night when she refuses, and Oda Mae heads over to the apartment. When Molly refuses to see her, Oda Mae starts yelling out things that only Sam would know, convincing Molly that she is telling the truth. Molly is still skeptical about the whole deal, thinking Oda Mae is using people’s grief to play a trick on them but when Oda Mae says that Sam says “ditto”, which is how he always responded when she said that she loved him, Molly realizes she is telling the truth. Sam has Oda Mae tell Molly about Willy and how he it wasn’t a random mugging and that he was murdered but when Oda Mae learns that Willy lives in her neighborhood, she gets scared and refuses to help anymore. Molly goes to see Carl and tells him about what Oda Mae said regarding Sam and Willy and Carl is skeptical but he says he will check it out. Sam follows Carl as he heads to Willy’s apartment but is shocked to learn that Carl knows Willy. Sam learns that Carl is laundering money for drug dealers and has $4 million that he needs to transfer to a fake account or else the dealers will kill him, which is why he wanted Willy to steal Sam’s address book which has all of his account passwords for work, as Sam had changed them before he died. Molly goes to the police and tells them about what Sam told her through Oda Mae but they don’t have a record on Willy but do have one on Oda Mae, as she has been charged. While Molly is out, Carl sneaks into her place and steals the address book and heads back to work, where he proceeds to call the dealer and is told to transfer the money to a single account under the name Rita Miller, all of which Sam sees. That night, Carl heads over to Molly’s place and attempts to seduce her but as he moves to kiss her, Sam leaps at them and ends up knocking a picture off the nearby table, causing Molly to stop Carl. Realizing there might be a way to stop Carl and Willy, Sam heads to the subway and searches for the ghost he encountered earlier and begs him to teach him how to interact with objects. After trying to get rid of Sam, the ghost eventually agrees to teach him, revealing that Sam’s problem is that he keeps thinking he is real and needs to focus with his mind. Sam is eventually able to interact with objects and heads over to see Oda Mae, only to discover that there are several ghosts in there with him. When Sam tries talking to her, Oda Mae yells at him about the ghosts all coming to see her now when one of the ghosts possesses her in order to talk to his dead wife. Oda MAe eventually kicks the ghost out of her and when the ghost complains about not being able to move, another ghost comments on possessing someone draining all of their energy. Oda Mae kicks everyone out of the room but as she goes to sit down, Willy shows up. Sam shouts out a warning to Oda Mae and she ducks into her trick closet while Willy shoots up the place, then leaves. Sam tells Oda Mae that they will come after her again but he knows how to get them to stop and she agrees to help in order to keep herself and her sisters safe. The next day, Sam has Rita dress in a nice outfit and use some of her fake ID’s to pretend to be Rita Miller and close out the account before Carl can transfer the money to a bank in Nassau. As they are finishing, Molly enters the bank to have lunch with Carl and Sam uses his abilities to knock some papers off the desk to distract her but Molly still notices her and questions the banker about what she was doing there. After they leave the bank, Oda Mae starts trying to figure out how to spend the money but Sam tells her that he never said she could keep the money and convinces her to sign it over to a charity. Meanwhile, Carl tries to transfer the money only to find that the account is closed and as he tries to figure out what happened, Sam starts taunting him, typing out “Murderer” and “Sam” on the computer. Carl heads over to Molly’s place to ask her about what happened when she thought Sam was there and Molly says it doesn’t matter as Oda Mae was a fraud and had closed out an account at the bank. Realizing what happened, Carl fakes being sick and asks Molly for some medicine. When she leaves, Sam starts taunting Carl but he threatens to kill Molly unless Oda Mae brings the check back to Molly’s place by 11 that night, then rushes off. Sam heads to Oda Mae’s place to warn her and when Carl and Willy show up, Oda Mae and her sisters quickly tun and hide in another apartment. Carl and Willy enter Oda Mae’s apartment and finding them not there, start searching for them but Sam uses his powers to frighten Willy, who eventually ends up being struck by a car. As Willy’s spirit recovers and stares at his body, Sam calls out to him and tells him he is dead. Suddenly, shadowy beings appear and grab Willy, dragging him screaming down to Hell. Sam and Oda Mae head back to Molly’s to warn her and when she refuses to open the door for them, Sam tells Oda Mae to puch a penny under the door and he makes it slide up the door and float over to Molly, convincing her that Sam really is there. Molly calls the police and asks them to show up and then talks with Sam through Oda Mae when Oda Mae tells Sam he can use her body to interact with Molly. Sam possesses Oda Mae and he and Molly share a dance but when Carl shows up and starts banging on the door, the surprise shocks Sam out of Oda Mae. Sam is too weak to move and Oda Mae tells Molly they should escape out the fire escape as Carl shoots out the lock and chases after them. He manages to catch up to them and grabs Oda Mae, threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t give him the check but she tells him she gave it away. Sam arrives and knocks the gun from Carl’s hand but he grabs it and threatens to kill Molly but Sam knocks the gun away again. Carl attempts to escape but Sam continues attacking him and when Carl throws a hook on a rope at Sam, the hook swings back and shatters a window, with one of the shards impaling Carl. Carl’s spirit leaves his body and as he stares at Sam, the shadow beings appear and drag him to hell. Sam asks Oda Mae and Molly if they are all right and Molly can hear Sam now, as the light appears and Sam is revealed to both of them. Sam kisses Molly and when Oda Mae says it is time he goes home, he thanks her for her help, then tells Molly he loves her before walking into the light.

Ghost¬†met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghost¬†offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era.” Molly tells Sam that he “leads a charmed life”. This is a line from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed while Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, earning $505.7 million off of a $22 million budget and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.

Well, this still isn’t something I would watch on a regular basis but I will admit that it was a good movie. The acting was good, with Patrick Swayze (Sam) and Demi Moore (Molly) doing good jobs in their roles but Whoopi Goldberg pretty much stole the show as Oda Mae. I also liked Tony Goldwyn (Carl) as his desperate antics to get the money actually made him an effective bad guy. The story was pretty decent, mixing a good amount of drama with some comedy aspects to keep it from being too depressing. One thing I didn’t particularly care for is that the were too obvious at times in setting something up. Case in point, when Sam is working on figuring out where the deposits were coming from, Carl offers to help and when Sam refuses the help, Carl asks what he and Molly are doing that night. About the only way you could have made it more obvious that something was going to happen and Carl was involved was if you had a giant, flashing, neon sign saying “MAIN BAD GUY” floating over his head. The special effects with the ghosts were pretty neat in how they kind of absorbed the properties of what they were moving through. However, there were some times where the blue screening between the ghosts and the living was a little off, making it look really fake. Definitely one of the more memorable romance/dramas to come out in the last couple of decades and one that is worth watching if you get the chance.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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