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The Fog (1980)
They don't make 'em like they used to ...
A very atmospheric ghost tale with moody music, excellent acting, and a suspenseful, well-thought out plot. The musical score in this flick is as good as any, including Carpenter's previous flick, Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, and Janet Leigh make for a very well rounded, solid cast. If you liked Halloween, I think you'll enjoy this one as well.
Psycho II (1983)
Surprisingly Solid Sequel
Most people will be surprised to find that this movie actually isn't half-bad. Anthony Perkins is simply outstanding as Norman Bates. The suspenseful and entertaining plot will keep you watching all the way through. Of course, there are a few loose ends. I thought the constant rehash of ideas from the original Psycho got a little old after awhile. Meg Tilly's performance was less than stellar. I miss the original's musical score. Other than that, a surprisingly solid sequel.
Spectacular & Immersive Story
I watched this entire movie on the edge of my seat. That's how good it was. I enjoyed this movie more so than Jaws. While Steven Spielberg didn't direct this movie (he wrote and produced it), he had an obvious impact. I would have called this movie perfect had it ended after the Freelings had recovered Carol Anne, and were moving out. That was the climax, and it should have ended then. After delivering their final lines, the camera should have moved from the actors to the house, and then panned out in a spectacular view of the entire community while rolling the credits. Instead however, the story continued. And while the scenes after the climax were the most frightful and disturbing, I found them to be tedious and pointless putting an unsatisfying end to an otherwise incredible movie.
The Shining (1980)
Suspense Is The Name Of The Game
Those looking for a generic slasher might want to over look (no pun intended) The Shining because suspense is the name of the game here, not gore and jumps. Stanley Kubrick's classic film is probably the most suspenseful horror film I've ever seen. I'd rank it over any Hitchcock film any day. This movie is two and a half hours of suspenseful, disturbing scenes. Not for the faint of heart mind you.
This movie, to me, is so well-made in every aspect. The cinematography, with it's dynamic and sweeping camera angles help draw you into the horror of the Overlook's long winding hallways. The sound effects are unmatched. "I love you Dan .." smiles Jack Nicholson at his nervous son as you hear the sound of bells descend and ascend in the background endlessly. The music is awesome. I sometimes view the movie just to listen to the music.
On top of that, the dialogue is first-rate with it's share of classic one-liners and verbal exchanges. One of the few draw backs to the movie is Jack Nicholson's performance. While Shelley Duvall, and Danny Lloyd are excellent in their roles, Jack Nicholson goes so over the top, that at times he moves out of the realm of being disturbing and eerie and into the realm of being comical. Just watch for the scene when Jack takes a trip to the bar. However, Nicholson's performance is classic otherwise and I don't see how anyone else could have acted the role any better.
This movie is definitely not for everyone (especially people looking for an exact adaption of Stephen King's novel). The movie is very long, and drawn-out, but it's not like you'll be left unsatisfied after the movie is over. The climax is very satisfying and does the movies' long and suspensful build-up justice. I'd recommend this movie to anyone tired of the generic gory slasher films you'll see all around you today, and anyone looking for something a little different.
The Greatest Horror Film Ever
When you look up the phrase "Horror Film" in the dictionary .. a picture of Janet Leigh screaming in a shower should appear next to it. Undoubtedly, Psycho is the greatest horror film ever made, bar-none. The story is incredible. The acting is near perfection. The cinematography is godly. The soundtrack is perfect. It's hard to find anything wrong with Psycho. Perhaps the only imperfection I can find with Psycho is the inability to stand the test of time. One of the reasons the shower scene has become so notorious is that it's not only filmed to perfection, but because the elements of sexuality and murder are so surreal. In 1960, seeing a nude women being murdered in a shower was something that no-one had experienced yet, and was quite shocking. Nowadays, seeing Jason double-spearing two lovers having sex is nothing uncommon. I envy those who experienced Psycho in 1960 in the theaters .. those experienced the full terror of Psycho.
Aside from this though, the movie is flawless. I won't even go into to how incredible the cinematography is. One thing I think people seem to forget about the movie is the incredible soundtrack. Sound is such an important element in movies and Psycho is undaunted when it comes to sound. The only other horror movie that even comes close to using sound with such perfection is Halloween (1978).
The movie is perfectly casted as well. Janet Leigh as the beautiful Marion Crane, Vera Miles as the concerned sister, Lila Crane, and of course the unforgettable performance from Anthony Perkins as the eerie yet charismatic Norman Bates.
I would recommend this movie to any horror movie film fanatic. I would especially recommend this movie to any horror movie fan not desensitized by Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, or Scream .. if such a fan exists.
Avoid At All Costs!
In order to enjoy horror movies, you must suspend reality. In other words, you must let yourself be immersed in what's going on and truly believe that a thing like that could happen. Unfortunatley, Jason Takes Manhattan makes this very hard to accompolish. It shouldn't be that way. I watced this movie the first time when I was 12, and while I was watching I was searching for something to be scared at, but to no avail. This movie is more amusing than terrifying. That's not a good thing.
This is the first Jason movie since the third to ever attempt character development. It fails to say the least. This movie is soooo bad. Avoid it at all costs. The only Friday The 13th movie you should ever waste your time with is the original, and if you enjoyed that, try Part 2, or 3, and see how you like them. Anything beyond that is a waste of time.