Okay, guys—since I failed miserably at Spook Series last week, it’s time to make up for it in a big way this week! So far I’ve done two posts of three movies (which you can read here and here), and I think I’d like to discuss a few more in hopefully two Spook Series posts this week. Fingers crossed! Anyway, opinions of the following films could vary pretty greatly, but if I had to guess, I’d say ‘90s kids will have a soft spot for the first one, ‘80s kids will remember the second one fondly, and the third one…well, the third one is kind of a modern classic, isn’t it? You can let me know what you think of them. On with the spooks!
The Faculty (1998)
Synopsis: “Students suspect that their teachers are aliens after bizarre occurrences.” –www.imdb.com
Why It’s Terrifically Terrifying: Okay, I realize The Faculty isn’t the best or most inventive sci-fi horror ever…but is it bad that I really like this film? Sure, it’s predictable and fairly cheesy, but it’s just one of those purely fun films that I can’t help enjoying. The students vs. teachers setup is enough to thrill the inner teenage rebel in all of us, but I think the cast is pretty solid, too. Are the characters pretty stereotyped? Well…yeah. I mean, of course Elijah Wood plays the sweet, picked-on kid. And of course Clea DuVall plays the moody loner. And I’m not surprised that Jordana Brewster plays the popular girl either. Admittedly, Josh Hartnett as the clever drug dealer is a bit of a curveball (I would’ve pegged him for the jock), but he makes it work. And Usher! Remember how Usher is in this movie? Gees, what the heck happened to Usher…I’m sorry. I’ve gotten off track. Point is, even as stereotypes, these actors are fun characters who are easy to root for. It’s a delightful little alien invasion film that I doubt I’ll ever be opposed to watching. Not groundbreaking, but fun. Not bad as Halloween fluff.
My Grade: B+
Children of the Corn (1984)
Synopsis: “A young couple is trapped in a remote town where a dangerous religious cult of children believe everyone over the age of 18 must be killed.” –www.imdb.com
Why It’s Terrifically Terrifying: Okay, so maybe words like “terrific” and “terrifying” don’t necessarily apply to Children of the Corn. Haha. As far as Stephen King adaptations go, this one is definitely not the best…but it’s not bad. I will say that I think the premise for this is supremely creepy. It’s just the cheesy ‘80s execution that’s the problem. Plus, I think I harbor ill will toward this film because when I was little some of my sister’s friends apparently described me, a pale and tow-headed child, as a child of the corn… But, hey, all water under the bridge. Lol. I did love seeing Linda Hamilton again so soon (I watched Terminator for the first time not too long ago, and you can read about it here), and Peter Horton is likable enough as her boyfriend…fiancé? Husband? Is it bad that I’ve already forgotten that? Anyway, the most important aspect of this film is, of course, the creepy kids, and I did find John Franklin very convincing as their leader, Isaac. Now Courtney Gains as his right-hand man…not quite as convincing. I also wish the monster that pops up at the end of the film had been explained a bit more. Even so, I still managed to enjoy Children of the Corn well enough. Perhaps not a Halloween favorite, but it might be worth a watch for diehard horror fans.
My Grade: C+
The Fly (1986)
Synopsis: “A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.” –www.imdb.com
Why It’s Terrifically Terrifying: Poor, sweet, awkward Jeff Goldblum! This film really makes you feel for him. In fact, as far as horror films go, this one probably makes you feel feels a lot more than most. Especially that ending. I mean, woah. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The Fly isn’t so much a scary film, really, but it is genuinely unsettling. Watching Goldblum’s Seth Brundle transform from a kind, enthusiastic scientist to a manic, unpredictable, and downright horrifying man-fly is fascinating to watch. Fascinating and really, really, really gross, that is. There were definitely some moments that I had to turn away from. And it’s funny—normally, super gross stuff like that would be a huge turn off for me. But the difference between The Fly and disgusting torture porn movies (a la the Saw sequels) is that The Fly isn’t gross simply for the sake of being gross. After all, we’re watching a man transform into a fly—grossness kind of comes with the territory. In many ways, we’re like Geena Davis’s Veronica in this movie: watching helplessly from the sidelines as someone we like becomes a monster. It’s the perfect blend of horror and tragedy. In short, I dig this movie. Gross parts and all.
My Grade: A-
Not a bad bunch this time around! Any of your favorites on here? I’d be curious to see what people thought of these. They all seem like they could be “love ‘em or hate ‘em” types. Hope your week is going well so far, my friends! Look out for more Spook Series films later this week!