There’s no denying that fall is slowly making its way ‘round the bend. Students can be seen wearing flannels, sipping on Dr. Jacks at all times of day and taking “cutesy” pictures around campus with the temperature filter on. Yes, we’re almost there folks. The month of October closes with the spookiest time of the year, Halloween.
Now, most likely your Halloween “celebrations” have changed within recent years. There’s nothing wrong with Trick-or-Treating as a college student, but just think of all the candy you’re taking from the youngin’s. Dressing up can still be a treat, but many of us cannot be bothered to spend money or time on constructing and finding a costume. Looks like Halloween is pretty drab the older you get… right? Wrong.
Two words. Horror movies. Yes, I said it, horror movies. Those kids can’t take movies from us. Halloween is nearly synonymous with horror at this point and the movie industry takes full advantage of this. This season looks like we’re getting three wide-release horror films, so to truly get the most of your money, I’m going to take a look at all of them and give you my honest opinions.
“Happy Death Day” was released on October 13 and has been getting mixed reviews so far. The film takes a familiar “Groundhog Day” approach, placing the main character in a situation where a college student must relive her birthday, death after death, trying to find her killer’s identity. Right now on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) the film has a 6.7/10, a fairly good score for the horror genre. Audiences are loving this movie, in a seemingly dry horror season. The movie is rated PG-13, so don’t expect gruesome violence and extreme uses of horror, but expect smaller jump scares and intense images. Keep this one in mind.
The ever-popular “Saw” franchise is returning with a “10 years later” sequel, “Jigsaw.” The first “Saw” came out in 2004, marking what would become a long and tiresome franchise of unnecessary sequels and cringe-worthy plots. I’ve lost count, but I believe there are 6 or 7 “Saw” movies at this point. “Jigsaw” looks to reform the series. The film, which was released October 27, is gathering massive attention from horror fans and critics. Within the “Saw” series, police have found themselves chasing a man named John Kramer, who at this point is presumably dead. “Jigsaw” questions this, hinting that Kramer’s story may not be over yet, something fans most definitely want to see. Bad plot, good plot? You decide. Also worth mentioning is the movies rating, R, which may sway some potential viewers.
The final movie worth including in this Halloween season is “Amityville: The Awakening.” This movie is a revival of the popular Amityville story. In 1979, “The Amityville Horror” was released, a film about a pair of newlyweds that move into a house where a mass murder was committed years prior. The couple experiences paranormal situations and manifestations that make them question if they should stay at the house. This film is a cult classic within the horror genre and many people are excited at the prospect of a new Amityville film. This new film will feature a single mother that moves her three children and herself into this house with a bloody past. Not much is known about the plotline of the movie, but it will feature an R rating, allowing for some gruesome extreme instances of horror. “Amityville: The Awakening” is set to have a limited release so if this movie interests you, you may have to do some searching to find a theater playing it.
Earlier I said I’d help you figure out which movie will get you the most “bang for you buck” and I intend to deliver. “Happy Death Day” has an overused gimmick that drives its plot. I mean waking up over and over again until you find out who killed you allows for the film to reach a longer runtime and showcase many different deaths. It feels unoriginal and seems like its plot is so simple it would have you groaning the entire time. There is a 90 percent chance that “Amityville: The Awakening” is just going to be a reworking of the original’s story and ride on its success. The movie is also in limited release, making it a pain to find a theater near you. If this movie still interests you, give the original a chance and if you enjoy it, then by all means go for the new one. I believe that “Jigsaw” is the most promising of these films. Of the three, I think the uninformed horror movie-goer would enjoy it the most. With that said, pick whichever one you feel like watching and huddle up for a horrific Halloween!
By Will Blase, features editor