Movie Review: “Halloween” (2018)

This review contains a major spoiler.

Like most people, I walked out as the end credits began to roll. This was not because of any particular disdain for the film, but rather because I am not usually one of those people to sit through them. Only unless I am enraptured by what I saw and am not ready to leave. As it happens, I learned from a friend last night after days of waiting to write this review that there was indeed a short scene after the end credits. It contains a shot of Michael Myers still breathing. Yes, still breathing after multiple gunshot wounds, blunt-force trauma all over his body, slashes, and then finally, an incineration in a house filled with gasoline and set alight. We can sit here and say, well, he’s Michael Myers so of course he is not dead. Or we can say this was supposed to be the definitive sequel, one where after 40 years, Laurie Strode and Myers go toe to toe and the monster is finally done away with. It was supposed to end there and be our closure. Continue reading “Movie Review: “Halloween” (2018)”


Halloween 2K18: A Review of “A Quiet Place” (2018)

A Quiet Place would have indistinctly blended in with all of the other post-apocalyptic films if not for one inclusion: the characters cannot make any noise. It is the year 2020 and earth has undergone a massive invasion by beastly, terrifying, ultra-violent alien creatures. Yet as vicious as they are, the aliens do not have eyes. They rely on an almost supersonic hearing to track down and kill their prey. This is an interesting scenario for a plot. Usually, the main characters are trying to avoid being killed by hiding themselves. In this film, you could be standing right next to the alien and survive as long as you do not make a sound. Anything louder than a whisper, and you’re dead.

Continue reading “Halloween 2K18: A Review of “A Quiet Place” (2018)”

Halloween 2K18: A Review of “The Witch” (2015)

Horror movies with historical backdrops are incredibly rare. Those that do exist almost always fail bombastically. This is for several reasons. First and foremost, sets and costuming for any historical drama can cost money, and the budgets for such horror movies usually relegate the participants to looking like the props department did their shopping at a Party City. The second reason is that the characters are often way too modern—as if people like us were given a change of clothes and then dropped into the time period in question. The way we spoke, the way we looked, the way we did everything was radically different between then and now. Continue reading “Halloween 2K18: A Review of “The Witch” (2015)”

Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Annabelle: Creation” (2017)

Having just called Annabelle (2014) a stain upon the Conjuring franchise for ignoring the real story of the Annabelle doll and choosing to go with something truly fantastical, here I am ready to rave about its prequel made three years later, Annabelle: Creation. This film too chooses to ignore most of the Warrens’ story regarding the possessed doll, but at least through a few twists, turns, and nods, it manages to feel right at home in the Conjuring universe. Actually, it was so good, this should have been the first Annabelle movie. It was so good that it renders its sequel pointless and useless.

Continue reading “Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Annabelle: Creation” (2017)”

Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Annabelle” (2014)

I really wanted to hate this movie. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the two Conjuring films, this latest installment of Annabelle, was not even going to pretend to have any basis in reality whatsoever. The whole “Based on a True Story” label is pretty much useless when it comes to horror movies anyway. As a paranormal investigator myself, little do what we ever encounter bears any resemblance to what is seen in the movies. The Warrens were ahead of their time in many ways: 1) they were investigating the paranormal before it became commonplace in our popular culture and 2) they knew how to sell a story. Little of what the Warrens ever investigated, I am sure, is true. I’m not going to get into that in this movie review, but I will take this moment to say I can still think they are charlatans and enjoy the movies in the Conjuring series. The first two were extremely well-done and told in an almost-documentary fashion. It led one to believe they might actually be true. Annabelle is entertaining and doesn’t suck, but the previous point is where it falters.

Continue reading “Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Annabelle” (2014)”

Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988)

Somehow in my 27 years on this earth and nearly 400 horror movies seen, I managed to avoid Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Even with all the garbage I have willingly and enthusiastically watched and reviewed for my followers on this blog, I was always put off by the title. I thought to myself, “There is no way a movie like that can be worth watching.” However, by the end of it, I was thinking nearly the opposite: “How can anyone not like this movie?”

Continue reading “Halloween 2K18: A Review of “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” (1988)”

Babe Ruth and Baseball in Atlantic Highlands

A shortened version of this will appear in the September issue of the Navesink Journal. Keep an eye out for it! 

On October 26, 1926, an exhibition baseball game was held at a ballfield in Atlantic Highlands off of Valley Drive. The home team was the Highlanders. The opposition was a visiting team of major league stars, retirees, and hopefuls, which would “barnstorm” around the country in their off-season. While crowds were sure to gather at any display of America’s national past time involving stars, this occasion was different. The pitcher for the opposition tossed three innings, allowing three runs. There was nothing standout about that, but in the batter’s box, he went four for five with two homeruns. The crowd went wild as he circled the basepaths. And why not? For that man was none other than Babe Ruth.

Continue reading “Babe Ruth and Baseball in Atlantic Highlands”

Halloween 2K17: A Review of “The Gorgon” (1964)

Christopher Lee once remarked, “The only thing wrong with The Gorgon is the Gorgon”. He could not have been more right. This is a film so full of atmosphere, expertly paced and entertaining, yet marred by some horrific makeup and special effects. To make a long story short, there is an ancient creature terrorizing a small German village, called a Gorgon. Every month at the full moon, someone is killed. When they stumble on the Gorgon, if they look at her face, they turn to stone immediately. If they are lucky enough to just catch a glimpse, they begin to age rapidly. They believe the spirit of this being resides in one of their townspeople but are not totally sure.

Continue reading “Halloween 2K17: A Review of “The Gorgon” (1964)”

Halloween 2K17: A Review of “Plague of the Zombies” (1966)

I think Plague of the Zombies is to Hammer Studios what Tomb of Ligeia is to American International Pictures. It was a temporary relief from the dark, dreary, claustrophobic castles and mansions that so many of their wonderful Gothic horror stories demanded. Both films make use of the outside, opening the gates to more sunlight and the countryside. Even the cemetery scenes are in daylight. It’s refreshing. What’s also refreshing is that this is a zombie movie not situated in the Caribbean or bayous of southern America, but in a cozy Cornish village in England.

Continue reading “Halloween 2K17: A Review of “Plague of the Zombies” (1966)”

Halloween 2K17: A Review of “The Vampire Lovers” (1970)

I had a hard time getting through The Vampire Lovers. It two me about two weeks of stopping and resuming. 15 or 20 minutes before I would get bored and move on to something else. This came as a surprise to me because it was directed by Roy Ward Baker, the helmsman of A Night to Remember (1958), one of my all-time favorite movies and what I consider to be the definitive Titanic story. Nevertheless, this one plods along endlessly. Continue reading “Halloween 2K17: A Review of “The Vampire Lovers” (1970)”