Tuesday, December 13, 2022

You're A Mean One: The Mean One (2022)


    Hello everyone, I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season so far. It always manages to boggle my brain that it's this part of the year that seems to go so quick. I guess it's cause everyone's in a super go-go state of mind cause of the holidays. It just seems like yesterday that it was the beginning of 2022. But here we are in the throes of Christmas. Usually, I'm in the festive mood. But it seems like as each year goes by, Christmas always manages to get jump started earlier and earlier. I mean this year, we literally had Halloween, Thanskgiving, and Christmas decorations out at the same time. Absolutely boggling. 
    Don't get me wrong that may seem like I'm a bit of a Gri...Scrooge. I'm not. I enjoy the holidays and the time get to spend with family. One of the things that always never fails is that it gives us reason to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, and The Grinch for the umpteenth time. For the horror side of things, you could probably count Christmas Vacation in the category alongside Krampus. It seems like there's always a new Christmas movie to watch. 
    The Grinch is one that I enjoy watching it. I always remembered watching the cartoon classic for so many years before that came out. So when my Grandma was like 'It's time for us to go as a family to the movies.'. I was a bit hesitant. I couldn't for the life of me imagine how they'd adapt things to live action. But they managed to do a decent job. Jim Carrey stole the show, of course. But over the years, it started to lose its shine to me a little bit. 
    Earlier this year, we had begun hearing word of films being made that take a different spin to our childhood IPs. One of the most well known ones was Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey being announced. Immediately, I was very intrigued. I was ready to see the approach they were going to take to the material. These adaptations are a bit small scale, but that's okay. As we've seen so far in this genre, it's not the size of the budget that counts. It all comes down to execution. Terrifier 2 is a superb example of this. 
    Another horror spin on a childhood story was a different look at the Gri....well, let's call him The Mean One. It was announced back in October of this year with some helping release it. At the time when that happened, I imagined it was going to be a small scale release and it'd be dropped onto YouTube. I mean this is an unofficial take on a Dr. Seuss classic after all. 
    But no, it was decided to go big or go home. It was released into theaters this past Friday. Some may have had the chance to see it and some may hold off to see reviews. I had the pleasure of checking it out and have been holding off on things. I wanted to give people the chance that were interested to give it a check before we could sit down and talk about it. 
    If you haven't seen it yet and are interested, I'd definitely say go check it out if you can. It's an interesting experiment. That's honestly one of the biggest things about these horror adaptations I can applaud. Take a story and spin it. 
    For those that don't know, here's the lowdown of The Mean One: 

In the sleepy mountain town of Newville, Cindy witnesses the murder of her parents by a blood-thirsty green figure in a red Santa suit. Twenty years later, the Christmas-hating monster begins to terrorize the town once more. Cindy finds new purpose in stopping the creature and saving the holiday.    

    I have seen others in our community talk about this film. I haven't checked out those reviews as I didn't want it to influence my outlook on things. This past week, it was a bit of a rough one. My partner came down with the Flu. So, we took the time to sit down and throw this on. They love the Jim Carrey Grinch. After they saw the trailer, they were incredibly interested in checking this out. 
    The Mean One is definitely something that I'll be returning to for the Christmas season. The approach to the film is a bit small. I honestly didn't mind that. It honestly felt like those old Sci-Fi original films back when they were good. Once Sci-Fi became SYFY, they started to lose themselves a little. We have seen some that have been a bit of a return to form, Slumber Party Massacre '21 and Banana Splits looking at you. So to find that unique sense return, it made me smile. 
    The Mean One isn't going to be a film for everybody. That is incredibly clear. If you are someone going in and have high expectations, you'll be disappointed. If you go in with an open mind, you have a chance you'll like it. If you enjoyed the old Sci-FI channel movies, you may like it. That's the thing about films these days is that each person can have a different experience than another. 
    Okay with that now out of the way, I really dug The Mean One. All of the little easter eggs in the film were fun. I mean there were a few different ones that alluded to a Seuss-verse going on. That was really cool. There's a character that is called Doctor Zeus. Really on the nose, but the character is super cool. The narration is something that I wasn't sure I was going to dig at first. But over the course of the film with its small uses, the performance is fantastic. It is a wonderful Anthony Hopkins-like. It definitely establishes that there is a love for the source material as well as for The Grinch. 
    David Howard Thornton is in this movie. That was something that I knew going in. I was really interested to see what could be done with him. I wasn't sure exactly how they were going to approach The Grinch. But the way that the film handles it, I definitely dug it. He's a bit more quiet than many would like. I'm sure that there will be some that won't like it for that. But this is a bit more of a naturalistic approach to The Grinch. So, he's not talk talk talking his way through things. He's quieter. And honestly, that's a bit more unnerving for me. But one of the coolest thing is seeing how the film incorporates the Carrey-isms into things. 
    The rest of the cast delivers some good performances. Are these award winning performances? No. Do I feel like we've been spoiled in Horror this year with amazing performances? Yes. Again, these felt home in a SCI-FI Channel Original approach. But again, everyone gives it their all. 
    Going by the trailer, it felt like this was a more slasher take on the material. That is true. One of the highlights for me was a bar scene. If you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about. As that sequence was going on, my brain couldn't help but insert Jim Carrey singing Mr. Grinch. It just put such a smile on my face. For the most part, I'd say that this could be a bit of a thriller than flat out horror slasher. The one thing with this that took me out of it was the gore. Would I have loved lots of blood flying? With this material, I don't know if we needed all out gore. But what we get in the film is a bit of CG-blood. Lots and lots of CG-blood. It hit a point where it felt extremely over the top. 
    My partner really liked the humor throughout. The changes that were made to adapt the story also made them laugh. And the lighting changes that occurred from the dark blues to more warm colors were well done. However, they thought that there was more that could have been done. And I'd definitely agree as there were a plot hole here and there. 
    Overall, I liked this a lot more than I was expecting to. It had some aspects where there is a love for the material. It's extremely clear. Would it be interesting to see more of this world that's set up in the film? Yeah. Will that happen? Honestly, I don't think so. The Mean One is a bit fun. It does have some pacing issues. There were some moments that felt like things could have been tightened up a little more. But overall, I'd be more than happy to return to this for another visit. 

Rating: 3 out of 5. 

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Friday, October 28, 2022



    Good Morning Everyone! I hope everyone's having a fantastic Friday so far. Here we are at the tail end of October. The Spooky Season has come and gone so damn quickly this year. It's absolutely shocking. It just feels like yesterday was August. It's been a bit busy round here. Thank you for bearing with me as I've been uploading when I can. I'm still hoping that one day that can make this more than just a simple hobby. 

    Earlier this year, we received SCREAM. It was a huge success. It reinvigorated the Scream franchise under the watchful eye of the Radio Silence crew. I was absolutely ecstatic when I saw it and excited for what the future holds for the franchise. 

Sadly, I was also this way when Scream 4 was released. Scream 4 however wasn't the success everyone was hoping it'd be. It played things a bit too close to the chest. It was a small bit of a retread. Though in the years since, it's actually a wonderful play on remakes. But back then, there were quite a few fans that were not necessarily happy with how things went. 

Cman710 is one of those fans. He took it upon himself to craft an alternate take on Scream 4. It was a really solid take. It then led to few more installments that focused not on Jill - no, we got more time with the character of Trevor. This version of Trevor was brilliantly explored through these installments. I honestly cannot recommend checking those out enough. (Check him out on Twitter) 

Then there was always that little voice asking 'When's Hollywood going to try to reboot the franchise? Would it be a remake? Or would it pick up after 4?'. It always led me wondering what the hell a remake could potentially even look like. I love this franchise. It was very much my Friday the 13ths growing up. So, I understand that the talk of a remake is very iffy. Especially when you consider all the successful horror remakes that we got and no I'm not looking at you Elm Street 2010. You go back to your corner and think about what you've done. (Though, there's a very wonderful fan script out there that gave a better idea of how an Elm Street remake could have worked). 

Imagine my absolute surprise when I discovered Cman710 had also wonder the same thing. There is a whole Scream reboot trilogy that was made. I immediately sought those out and gave them a read. I'm always interested in the prospect at how something could be reimagined. Safe to say, it's solid. I don't want to go too far into spoilers for these three. Or at least the first and third ones, sadly the second one had its ending lost. But the characters that were chosen to follow were fantastic. It honestly spins things in a pretty wonderful direction that I never saw coming. 

At this point, it may seem like I'm ranting. In order to talk about Scream Louder, I had to talk about what Cman710 has done so far in this sandbox. 

With those initial three fan scripts, Cman710 established a solid foundation. Scream Louder takes everything that worked and takes it to the next level. All the characters, returning and new, get their time to shine. The way that the story is paced out is fantastic. It honestly doesn't overstay or underwhelm. I honestly found myself disappointed by the time it ended because I wanted more time in this world. That's how much I grew to enjoy these characters. 

Ghost Face in this whole series has managed to relatively play it a little safe. It kind of was what we had come to expect. However with Scream Louder, it's different. Ghost Face is more menacing. It still felt close to what we have seen, but then things get ramped up to 11 in a whole new direction. The kills are also one step further as well. 

One thing is absolutely clear is how much love and passion has gone into these. Each of these scripts also have a different flavor. The first one is very much the original. The second one has a bit of a 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer' vibe to it. The third would have to be a bit more in vein of 'Scream 4'. And then with Scream Louder, it's has a bit of a My Bloody Valentine flair going for it. 

I definitely know that with how much the bar has raised for fan films, I would love to see these scripts turned into fan films someday. 

I know this may seem a bit light in terms of a review. But again, I don't wish to spoil this experience for people. I highly recommend checking it out when it releases this Halloween.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. 

*I received Scream Louder as a member of the beta reading that was set up. The version that was handed out wasn't necessarily the final version yet. So think of what I saw as a test reading like a test screening.* 

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Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Boogeyman Is Out There: The Ranking of the HallowGreen Saga


    Hello everyone and welcome back to BlazinBlue's Review. I know it's been a little bit crazy around here. But I've been trying to drop things as I can. It's just a bit of a busy season around here. 

    Last week, we received the latest installment in the Halloween franchise with Halloween Ends. As one would expect, it has been an incredibly divisive film. I know seeing all the discourse on Twitter reminds me of when Kills was released. There was a large group that hated it. There was a large group that loved it. For those that didn't like it, they really found things to not like. And for those that love it, they definitely find things to really love about it. I would like to say that if you are someone that doesn't like it, please don't give people shit for like it. The same goes for those that liked it, don't go and shit on people for not liking it. 

    As of this writing, we have also received the novelization for Halloween Ends. I've taken some time to dive into it. It was written by the writer for Ends as well, Paul Brad Logan. It's an incredibly interesting read. It definitely does a wonderful job of opening up the film even more. We are able to get more time with characters and things are able to have some time to breathe. One of the things that I wasn't surprised with was Corey's mother. It's a character that I found myself questioning a lot in the film itself. But the book takes the character to a whole nother level. I highly recommend giving it a read. 

    Last year, we dove through the Halloween Franchise entirely in preparations for Kills. It was a fun experience. But I found myself beginning to wonder whether to cover the entire franchise again in this ranking or if I go smaller with just this timeline. I honestly don't know if I'd be changing much of my ranking for the non-HallowGreen films. Each one I do manage to find something interesting to like - yes, even the Rob Zombie installments.

    It all led to this as I decided to focus on the David Gordon Green installments solely. Some may even call this the Haddonfield Saga or the HallowGreen Saga. It's a set of films that honestly went out to do something different than before. When we originally saw Halloween '18 and Kills, it felt a little like a greatest hits. However as we look at it overall now, this is Haddonfield's story. 


This installment is a pure slasher take on a Halloween film. We are very clearly seeing Michael in his element. He's not hiding in the shadows no more. He is clearly enjoying the night he returned. 

Last year, I enjoyed the film a lot. It was interesting, especially seeing that flashback sequence. However, Evil Dies Tonight was something that I felt the film held a little close too. The whole aspect of Laurie trying to say that the more Michael killed, the more he became something else felt cheesy. It's honestly an aspect that doesn't even seem to matter anymore. I guess I'd chalk Laurie being wrong about that like she kept insisting Michael was coming after her. Kind of lets one wonder just what meds Laurie was on from her surgery. 

The ending of the film was a bit of a letdown. It felt like things were propelling themselves into something a little more substantial. Michael vs. Laurie, here we go. Except we already got that with Halloween H20. 

The whole Extended Edition aspect of the home release felt even more like a cheap marketing ploy. Some may even say a throwback to marketing for 'Unrated and All-New' experience for DVDs those years ago. Especially with the 'extended' ending. 

It just now feels a little hollow and more like a placeholder film. One thing I will say is seeing the effect that Michael to the townspeople is pretty interesting. 


Halloween 2018 was the one that brought Michael Myers back to the big screen. Instead of the Rob Zombie version, we witnessed the return of the Boogeyman - this is The Shape. 

This was very much The Force Awakens. It's even more obvious after the release of Ends. It's a nice return to form. 

At its core, its incredibly in the vein of '78. Things take a little more time to pan out. There are definitely some aspects that I still find myself scratching my head. The biggest one being Dr. Sartain and the Podcasters. Why was it absolutely necessary for Michael to kill the podcasters? Why did both of them have to die? Why couldn't at least one survive? I found myself interested in what they could have been. It'd honestly be New Loomis feel probably. But better than just throwing them away like they did. A missed opportunity.  

Sartain's whole wanting to know more of Michael's dark side is still cheesy as hell. Yeah, it's an Anti-Loomis approach. But it also could have been a little more in the vein of The Man in Black. As much as The Thorn Trilogy is a bit of a hot point, it'd been natural approach for Sartain. 

Seeing Laurie and her family is still interesting. I honestly wish we could have been given more time with them. As much as some may dislike 'I got peanut butter on my penis', the whole family aspect was working really well. And in subsequent revisits, I've grown to love it. 


Halloween Ends was something that I wasn't expecting. I was going into the film expecting more of Laurie vs. Michael. Maybe even the final bout to be a bit more bigger. However, it was a complete curve ball for me. 

I wasn't expecting the film to be the breath of fresh air that it is. Yes, it's a Halloween film. It may not have been the one that many were expecting. I mean I know there was a lot of people expecting a Michael film like the previous two films. 

But from the opening, it's obvious that this isn't Michael's film. This is Corey's story. Could Corey have been introduced in Halloween '18 and Kills? Absolutely. Some may even say that it would have added to the films coherency seeing Corey in the background. It probably could have helped illustrate that these films are Haddonfield's story ultimately. But ya know, I'm happy with what we got. 

This is something that honestly shows that Halloween films do not necessarily have to focus so heavily on Michael. It also does highlight a little more just how much Michael effected the town. I mean look at the glimpses of the townspeople murders at the beginning. What happened with that? I know there's a theory running around that those were people that witnessed Michael in the sewers and the evil influenced them as well. If that was made a little more clear, it'd be interesting. 

However, I like seeing that as the film went on and Corey gained power - Michael lost his. The town literally kept calling Corey a monster and pushing him. It was no surprise that he finally allowed himself to turn into what they thought he was. 

Seeing Laurie picking up and transforming into her past self was interesting. The whole grocery scene was nice. I was expecting to see more of Hawkins. Bit of a missed opportunity. 

And then there's Allyson. There honestly was a lot seeing where she could have been. But seeing how much Laurie is clinging to her, it definitely makes sense that Allyson isn't doing the greatest. She's a bit lost like Corey. So, it's nice seeing the two of them together as they do find something within one another at first. But then, they go to the Halloween Party at the Bar and it just goes down from there. But kudos for her to finally taking a step forward by getting out. 

Ends just was able to capture my attention in a way that the previous two films failed to do. It was a bit fresh. It's an installment that I have now found myself watching 5 times and still finding new stuff. One of my thoughts that I wondered was maybe part of Ends happened in Corey's mind - or least through his perspective and he's not exactly a reliable narrator. 

Honestly, I keep seeing this film as a whole being seen through Corey's perspective overall. Especially with the scene of Laurie and Corey in the Mitchell house. Pardon me if I got Jeremy's last name wrong. 

The only small thing that wished would have tightened up was the funeral procession at the end. It just felt tacked on. 

And like I mentioned before, the novelization offers a deeper look at the film's story. 

Thank you all for checking this out. If you like my content, feel free to follow me on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. Feel free to tell your friends as well. And I'll see you guys next time. 

Friday, October 14, 2022



Hello Halloween Season 2022. With it, you've brought us the return of Chucky and Art the Clown and the Lazarus Configuration of the Hellraiser franchise so far. So far, Freddy and Jason have yet to be seen. Slowly, they are becoming the next urban legend. Now, we are sitting with the return of Michael Myers. 

    Back in 2018 after that initial Halloween was released, I wasn't a fan. I wasn't sure what was going on with this new timeline of the franchise. I could tell that they were a fan of the franchise though. There's absolutely no doubt about that. Halloween '18 was a very solid start. It reintroduced us to Laurie and Michael while laying the ground work of what we would see in this timeline with Karen, Ray, Alison, and Cameron being the most stand out of the new characters. There were some characters that we see that I wished would have been more involved: the Sheriff and Hawkins being strong mentions. We also could have done more with the podcasters. Hell, Aaron could have been the new Loomis to counterpoint Sartain. But while that film was honoring the first film while pushing things forward, it was subverting expectations. But I remember hearing that it the start of a new trilogy. 

    Then we had to wait for the next chapter, Halloween Kills. Originally, the film was shot in 2019 and expected to release in 2020. However, that was not meant to be as we had to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Then it was shifted to 2021. By the point, it was release - we were hit with so much of the marketing machine for Kills. I remember that Halloween 2018 had a strong marketing plan as well, but nothing compared to Kills. Blumhouse was absolutely trying to blow Halloween into a huge blockbuster event. To an extent, it was working but that can be a double edged sword. If you set up expectations to an extremely high level, how can you expect to deliver on that? 

    That's the problem that happened when Kills finally was released. It was such a divisive film. You either dug the hell out of it or hate it. The discourse on Twitter was absolutely amazing that first weekend as we were able to see everyone's thoughts on the film. Kills was an interesting continuation. It was very much taking a Halloween II '81 approach. More of The Night He Returned! But again, it was subverting our expectations. All of the returning characters from the previous films (Halloween '79 and Halloween '18) did so but with a catch. The ones from '79 were different. They were further on in their life. But like Laurie, they let their experience with Michael shape how their life would turn out. Kills also was an incredible insight into how the fear of Michael affected Haddonfield. It literally turned its townspeople into an outright lynch mob. It also delivered on turning MIchael from man into myth. 

    This brings me to Halloween Ends. We finally have our conclusion to the David Gordon Green saga or HallowGreen as some have said (Epic Film Guys, Movie Dumpster and HallowWeenies - give them a listen if you like horror podcasts). At this point, I will say that there will be spoilers. If you wish to be spoiled, you can read on. If you don't, then stop now and go check out Ends. But check it out with an open mind. 




All right, you still here? Good. Halloween Ends is an interesting film. It's a film. But is it the one that everybody was hoping for after Kills? No. No, it is absolutely not. Everyone was hoping for more. Kills was such a blockbuster level Halloween film, it was going to be so difficult to follow it up. 

This film doesn't try to be as big as Kills. Instead of going big, it tells a smaller, more introspective story. 

First and foremost, this isn't necessarily a Michael Myers movie. Nor is it a Laurie Strode movie. We have a fourth entry (again, if we count Halloween '78 as part of the continuity) where we don't follow either of those characters really. 

Yes, they are in the film. The marketing played it all up very very well. Again, the marketing did an extreme disservice to the film in a way. In one way, it brilliantly set things up as a concluding chapter that's been in the making. However, it completely subverted all expectations. That's one of the things I will say about Ends is that it completely subverts any and all expectations that people will have for it. 

By this point, I guess I should talk about the synopsis for the film. The official synopsis was extremely wordy. When it was released, I remember everybody going and trying to decipher what exactly everything meant in it. It partially set up an expectation in a way. So let's get it out of the way, shall we?

Four Years after her last encounter, Laurie Strode is living with her granddaughter Alison. She's trying to finish her memoir. Myers hasn't been seen since that night and now has become a myth. Laurie has liberated herself from her rage and attempting to embrace life. However, when a young man accused of murdering a boy while babysitting, it ignites a cascade of violence and terror that forces Laurie to face the evil that she can't control. 

That is very much a more simple approach to the synopsis. If they had released that, I think it may have tempered expectations. 

Again, this isn't exactly Michael nor Laurie's story. This is Corey Cunningham's story ultimately. It is very much told from his perspective. Each and every scene is crafted from his perspective. Hell, I'm doing another watch right now. And it's extraordinary just how much that is evident after the initial watch. 

Hell, the title credits aren't even in the original golden hue. They are blue. That is Corey's color as he's seen wearing a lot of blue in the film. 

The beginning of the film was an absolute shocker for me. I wasn't sure it was going to start with the night Corey babysat. Or, if it did - somehow it would involve Michael. To a point, I guess I can say that it did. Jeremy, the young boy that Corey babysat, is a bit of a brat. That's putting things extremely lightly. He pulls a Halloween prank that never should have happened. If it hadn't, things would have turned out differently. But like Jeremy's mother tells Corey, things tend to influence her child and after the Halloween 2018 night - well, Michael Myers is the stuff of myth. But it was during this prank on the second watch, I noticed a small detail. 

Everything is from Corey's perspective. When his fear is growing and he's more anxious, there is complete terror on his face. It left me wondering just what the hell is the story with his home life. Is his mother overbearing and trying to rule every moment of his life? Going by how a scene plays out later, I wouldn't put it past her. But it definitely plays into Corey having some issues. 

Thinking on it now, that whole scene with Corey and Jeremy is a complete subversion of the original Halloween opening. It was something that was very striking and a bit bold. We don't see openings like that very much these days. Instead of the one whose supposed to be watching the child, it was the child itself. It happens extremely fast. Do I partially think it was an accident? Yes. Is it a bad set of circumstances? Yes. Do I think Corey truly meant harm at that point in the film? No, least not yet. 

The big theme of Halloween Ends is infection. It's a small clever play on the pandemic. How something like an infection can get into a town and affect it so much. Michael's influence on Haddonfield is so mythic at this point. We are shown brief glimpses of other acts of violence that have occurred in the town. Always there's someone asking if it was Michael that did it. No matter what happens, there's always that fear that Michael is out there watching and waiting. 

Then we see Corey's life later on, he's the town pariah. Everyone looks at him like he's a monster. Everyone doesn't even consider what happened to be an accident. They strongly know what he is and condemn him for it. As a group of punk-ass high schoolers would say, it's a psycho and a freakshow meeting. Honestly, that does hit home in a way. 

We also see Laurie and Alison as they are attempting to live. Laurie moreso than Alison it seems. Laurie's attempting to bake pies while writing her memoirs. Alison is working at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Hawkins is perusing the meat department of the local grocery store in hopes of seeing Laurie. And what happened to Lindsay Wallace? Well, Lindsay works at the bar and delved into tarot cards. (Don't expect to see Lindsay a lot.). But she's friends with Alison. 

Laurie decides to play matchmaker with Alison and introduces her to Corey. She thinks he's a good guy and might be good for Alison. Honestly, I wish that we may have gotten more with Alison. We've seen that character for two films and kinda fell into Laurie's path. Alison has that anger and rage that Laurie had in '18 and Kills. So, I get why we may not have seen a larger storyline for Alison. It may have felt a tad redundant in the story that they were trying to tell. 

In the original Halloween, it felt very much like it was Laurie Strode's story. We followed her character for a large part of that film. Corey honestly feels a little bit like the other side of the coin to Laurie. He may have been a good kid at one point like she was. Yet, the darkness that Loomis saw inside Michael had found its way into Corey. Through the course of that film, that darkness continued to infect Corey till there was no point of return. The seed had just managed to plant itself when he was babysitting Jeremy. 

At this point, it may sound like I'm trying to rationalize and apologize for Corey. I am not. Once I had managed to figure out what the angle the film was attempting, things just continued to fall into place. It's a complete showing of just what exactly that evil and darkness can do when it infects even the best of us. It also helps showcase that while Laurie stays in Haddonfield, she can't move on with her life. That same darkness has found its way inside all those years ago. It also didn't help that Michael had managed to just slip into the shadows after the death of her daughter. 

Laurie dealing with living with Alison is a good indication of where she's at. She may even see Alison as a second chance as she had failed Karen before. Or that she's attempting to attone for what happened in the previous films as Alison is now left trying to figure things out after the death of her parents and boyfriend, Cameron. 

By having Corey front and center with the murders, it shows a bit of the transition of the darkness. It also allows us to have it have a vocal point. Before with Michael, we are guessing what is going on behind the mask. With the good side that Corey displays, that could be seen as his mask. As Laurie states in the film, evil can come from the outside. But its the ones that hide the evil within that should be feared. And that's shown with Corey. 

One part of me wonders what would have happened if Laurie hadn't reached out to Corey. Would he still have been pushed off that bridge by those punk-ass high schoolers to encounter Michael? Did that moment push Corey into Michael's path? Is it truly like the sister of Laurie's neighbor had said? "You tempted a mentally unstable individual. And you're surprised at the results?" Was Corey mentally unbalanced before the accident with Jeremy? Was Corey mentally unbalanced after the years of being told by the townspeople that he was a psycho? 

Because we see the film told fully in Corey's perspective, did some of these events happen the way that we seen them on screen? Is he a reliable narrator? What would things look like from Laurie and Alison's perspective? Would it have been a more traditional Halloween movie like we have come to expect? I definitely viewed things a bit differently than others I'm sure. It probably helped that I watched the first trailer. Then after that, I stayed away from everything. When David Gordon Green and Jamie Lee Curtis had told us that Ends would be a film that pisses people off, I immediately threw every expectation I had out the window. 

Halloween Ends is a film that allows so much discourse to it. Each person could definitely have a different spin on it than another. You may see it differently than I did. It definitely changes what a Halloween film can be. It's not a typical slasher and that's something that many have come to expect. It's a film that investigates the darkness that has been within Michael throughout these films. While we don't see Michael a lot, he's there because he's more than a man. After the events of Kills, he's become a myth and become that darkness. It's also a film that could be seen about the Legacy of Michael. It has a lot of different sides to it. 

Hell, there is a version of Ends out there in the multiverse where it focuses on that Legacy fully. Where then by the end of the film, we'd see Corey taking up the mantle of Michael Myers. Then there'd be a film or two where we'd follow the Corey-Michael. 

Was I upset that we don't necessarily have a lot of kills in the film? No. After Kills, Ends felt a bit refreshing. It does have some kills. But it's not balls to the wall killing. It couldn't be. It had to change things up. Or else, we'd probably be saying that it's just more of the same. 

There is honestly probably more that I could talk about with Ends. It is something that I appreciated a lot. And a large part of that is due to the fact that its different. It has a different perspective on the other films. After two watches so far, I definitely can see myself returning to the film. I'm sure that there's definitely some solid rewatchability - especially if watched within the context of the HallowGreen timeline (H'78, H'18, Kills and Ends). Everybody delivers solid performances in the film. Especially when taken into the context that this is a film through Corey's perspective. I wish that would have seen some characters in a much larger role (Hawkins! SHERIFF DON'T DO NOTHING!). 

If you have a chance to see it, I recommend it. Just go in with an open mind and low expectations. 

Rating: 4.25 out of 5. 

Halloween Ends can be seen in theaters and streaming on Peacock. 

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Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Such Sights To Show You: Hellraiser (2022) - 10/12/22


   Welcome back to Such Sights To Show You! Here we are, we have made it through the majority of the Hellraiser films. Its interesting how this franchise is. It is just as deadly as the Lament Configuration itself. It lures you in with its first two installments then dares you to continue with the next. After that, it's a series of twists and turns almost as if we were solving the box itself. Each new twist more deadly than the last. Or as some may say, disappointing. By the end, we have definitely seen so many sights that are held within. 

    First off, I'd like to say thank you to every one that has joined along for this ride. This is definitely a journey and one not to have taken lightly. I had seen some of these films in the past. But I have never seen them in this context before. It honestly has gave me a bit of an appreciation for what Hellraiser is. Second, I honestly could not do what I do without the support of my partner. They have been there for me and so supportive. They understood that I enjoy talking about movies. They understood that it's one of my dreams to get the chance to do this. Yeah, it doesn't pay. But doing this has never been about that, though it wouldn't be a bad thing if it did. And third, without the support of everyone that checks out these reviews - I honestly don't know if I would have kept along. Doing these reviews were originally my way of keeping my sanity while I recovered from my dental surgery this past year. But here we are, four years doing so. So thank you. 

    Now, here we are everyone. With all of the franchise in perspective, we can look forward to where things will go next. You may remember that I talked about The Night House last year. It was one of my Top 10 Films of the year. It was such an incredible film. When I was watching it, I just kept thinking how much it felt like a Clive Barker film. It just had that fantastic atmosphere and feeling that the first Hellraiser evoked. 

    So imagine my surprise and excitement when I had heard that David Bruckner was going to be helming a new iteration of Hellraiser. I could not imagine no one better to reinvigorate and reimagine Hellraiser. I did my best to keep my excitement handled though. Sometimes we can get so excited about something, it can cause one to be extremely disappointed when it wasn't what we were hoping for. I watched the one trailer. There was no other trailer for me. It quickly lured me in and set up the story. My partner isn't a big Hellraiser fan. When I showed them that initial trailer, they were a bit sold on it. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to share that with them. 

    Over the weekend, I kept my ear to the ground to see what people were saying about Hellraiser. I avoided spoilers so much. There was no way I would go into the film already having it spoiled. That has happened in the past, Scream 3 being a very good example. Someone spoiled that for me before I had the chance to see it. The word for Hellraiser was that it was good. I rested easy a little bit about that. 

    For those that would like to know, here's the plot crunch. A young woman must confront the sadistic, supernatural forces behind an enigmatic puzzle box responsible for her brother's disappearance. 

    As we all know, I like the original Hellraiser. It may not be my absolute favorite film. But I really respect it and enjoy it. After the first two installments, there hasn't been a Hellraiser that has managed to stand up to the original. However, this film does it. 

    One of the first things that I will say is that in a way I'd compare it to Evil Dead (2013). Actually, it would make a fantastic double feature alongside Evil Dead (2013). Both films have a bit of a similar theme as they forgo certain story elements in order to tell a more nuanced story regarding addiction. Yeah, there are some people that may say that the new Hellraiser isn't horny enough for them. But you know what, that's okay. 

    The approach with Hellraiser '22 is absolutely fantastic. It's an extremely well developed beginning chapter. It doesn't necessarily throw aside the lore that was established in previous films. It brilliantly develops things even further. Gone is the BDSM black leather look of the Cenobites. Now, they truly are a dark and twisted fairy tale with their new look - highlighted by their flayed skin. Pinhead's look is absolutely amazing. Honestly, each Cenobite is unique on their own yet manage to be awesome as a collective whole. While we have Pinhead, we also have a different take on Chatterer. Chatterer's appearance in the original was something that stood out as incredibly striking. In this incarnation, it honestly reminded me of Eligos from Ash VS. EVIL DEAD. It is still nice to see, but it does lessen the impact. Outside those two, we are treated to new cenobites: The Masque, The Weeper, The Mother, The Asphyx and The Gasp. All of these are still visually striking. However, some of them don't necessarily get enough screen time. The Gasp was incredibly haunting and a bit inspired by Angelique from Bloodline. 

    As of this writing, I've watched it three times now. None of these times have I felt that the film was a bit longer than it needed to be. It felt really solid in its pacing. Each of the characters felt interesting and relatable. I honestly was blown away by the fact that I never found myself hating any of those characters. I do think we get a little more of Pinhead and the Cenobites in this one than in the original film. Jamie Clayton absolutely leads the film in their portrayal of Pinhead. This incarnation easily stands alongside Doug Bradley's. I know that there were some people that may have said that Clayton wouldn't do well. But this performance is so damn entrancing. It left me hoping that we'd get more films with these Cenobites. There was a small aspect of the third act that felt a bit Thirteen Ghosts-ish. I was honestly surprised by where the film went. In one aspect, it wraps up the film in an interesting solid way. In another aspect, it does set the groundwork for something that could be explored in a sequel. 

    Hellraiser (2022) absolutely lived up to what I was hoping for. It doesn't remake the original. No, it blows open the door as a new chapter for this franchise. Literally, the sky's the limit as to where things could go next. And I know I"m excited about it.  

Rating: 5 out of 5. (Enjoyed more than the original.)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Such Sights To Show You: Hellraiser Judgement - 10/11/22



 Hello everyone, Welcome back to Such Sights to Show You. I know it has been a little bit since we've last opened the box. However, I thought that before we even talk about the new film that released over the weekend. We have to finish our business with at least Judgement. Deader and Hellworld are ones that still have yet to see. They aren't available to stream and a bit of a problem to track down so far. I remember seeing them during a SyFy marathon when they were originally released. And I remember them not being very good. I mean considering that Deader at least has a bit more going for it. It has a unique concept at least. But it recycles some elements that we have seen already in this franchise. How many times can we see a reporter or detective going down the path and encountering the cenobites? Hellworld could have been even more of an interesting take if they had doubled down on the video game aspect. Instead, it's something that is mentioned than thrown away to the side. Both of these films weren't originally Hellraiser films. Guess that's kind of the way this franchise works. 

    After Revelations failed to land a success, it was another 7 years till we'd see Pinhead once again. This brings me to Hellraiser Judgement. Judgement is another film that could be considered to be made just to hold the rights. It's very evident when Weinstein did their best to hold off releasing the film for so long. It has been mentioned before that Judgement was just sitting on the shelf for a little bit. 

    Judgement was written and directed by Gary J. Tunnicliffe. For those that have been keeping up with this retrospective, you'll remember that Tunnicliffe has a history with the franchise. He had helped with the special effects going all the way back to Hell on Earth. He had filmed a short that chronicled Pinhead in his last days. What would that look like? That is something that is an extremely interesting concept. It also served as a proof of concept that Tunnicliffe could handle the series. As far as I know, I believe that there was some good response to that short film. So, it was naturally okay to see Tunnicliffe get to helm an installment. 

    Judgement is an interesting film. Yeah, once again it does handle a small repeat of Detective following a killer and down the rabbit hole to the Cenobites. However, I would say that this manages to work at least a little better for me than Inferno did. While Inferno was more inspired by David Fincher's Se7en, I would say that least the detective element is tied to SAW. 

    One thing is very evident. This is a Hellraiser film. It was written to be one right from the get go. There's no back pedaling and shoe horning PInhead into the film. I can definitely give it some props for that. The whole storyline involving Pinhead is pretty interesting. In a first, the world is expanded upon with the introduction of these Hell Houses where individuals would encounter the Auditor. The Auditor is a character that could be considered to be Hell's Accountant. They put individuals on trial and then judge them. Typically, it results exactly how you'd imagine. If I was just given that brief description and mention before going into the film, I'd be okay. 

    But this film goes into an incredibly disturbing and disgusting places. It's at this point I will say that Judgement is not for the squeamish. You will see some shit that can turn your stomach. If that kind of stuff wasn't in the film, it'd be interesting. Instead, I find myself extremely repulsed and ultimately questioning why it was even in the film. Who was that aspect of the film for? 

    The fact that Heaven and Angels are introduced is pretty big as well. It definitely opens up the world in a bit of a fresh way. If this was what they had focused on, it'd been more compelling honestly. Instead, we are given small snack bits and then it's done with. Why couldn't we have focused more on this element?

    Instead, we are treated two detectives tracking a serial killer. There's a new cop that's assigned to work with them. It goes yada yada yada. Second verse same as the first, but a whole lot worse. That's honestly how I'd describe the Detective story. It was unneeded. It was a complete retread of Inferno in a way. Still, treated to characters that are unlikable. Why can't we get a Hellraiser film where we actually have characters that may relate to? Why do they always have to be assholes? Why are they always so damn unlikable? It's honestly so damn infuriating at this point. 

    Then, we have more of Pinhead. Pinhead's just a bit of biding his time. He's sitting on his throne ruling Hell. Besides that, the Auditor receives most of the screen time. It just leaves things feeling rushed and unneeded. Least with Revelations, we knew exactly what we were getting. Instead, I remember the bit of hype up to it. People were preparing to hail it as a return to form for the series. Then, we were delivered the film. 

    Hellraiser Judgement had a small glimmer of hope. The non-disgusting bits of the hierarchy of Hell and such is interesting. However, it's lost in a retread of Inferno. So much so, that before you know it it's over. And we are left with a cliffhanger that'll never be resolved with Pinhead sent back to Earth to live as a human. In one sense, it reminds me a little of the Boom Hellraiser comics. If you haven't checked out those, I'd highly recommend it. A better story than what we were given here. 

Rating: 2 out of 5. 

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Such Sights To Show You: Hellraiser Revelations - 10/04/22


    Welcome back to Such Sights To Show You! We had a small hiccup as four entries are apparently nowhere to stream. In a way, it does go to explain that these were the one-shot entries more or less in the franchise. There were still two more entries that were available for streaming right now - Revelations and Judgement. As they say, the show must go on. 

    In 2011, Miramax (under the guise of Dimension) knew that they were running out of time with Pinhead and the other cenobites. The rights were looming and soon to expire. What do you do when that happens? Well, you greenlight a film of course. Apparently, that is exactly their reasoning behind the previous entries. It definitely makes sense as there were three out of those previous entries where it's obvious that they were spec scripts that then had Pinhead thrown into them. Why? To keep the rights, of course. The one film that honestly felt like a natural Hellraiser film out of those was Hellraiser: Hellseeker. And that was due to the fact that we get to revisit the character of Kirsty Cotton from the first and second films. 

    Now, this brings me back to Revelations. Revelations was the ninth film in this franchise. It had an extremely quick turnaround from script to release. A complete three weeks was the entire production, the filming itself only took eleven days. The film was written by Gary J. Tunnicliffe. Tunnicliffe has had a large part to play for this series as had a hand in contributing to the makeup for the films since Hell on Earth.

    The story revolves around two college kids going to Mexico and having the time of their life. On their journey, they come across the Lament Configuration. And it changes their lives and families forever. 

    That's roughly the gist of the film. It's an extremely basic summary. If one were to go by that summary like I originally did, it doesn't sound good. It sounds like a complete cash grab. It also doesn't help that Doug Bradley chose not to return. Instead, we receive a different Pinhead. If they had chosen to not include Pinhead, I would have understood. But at this point, he's become the poster child for this franchise. 

    Over the years, I kept seeing the Revelations cover. It was just sitting there on the shelf. Each time I passed on it because literally everyone was saying that it was such a bad film. It was a complete dumpster fire. It's only purpose was to make sure that the rights stayed with Miramax and Weinstein. However, my curiosity got the better of me one day. I decided maybe it's time to give it a shot. 

    Is Revelations a bad film? It's something that will absolutely be different from person to person. We all have our own thoughts on what makes a film good or what makes a film bad. It's one of the wonderful parts of our community - seeing all the discussion that is had. And also seeing all the horror films that I have, I can say that it's not a bad film. 

    It's the first sequel in this series to feel like a Hellraiser film since those initial four. Some would probably disagree and say that Hellseeker did as well. My thoughts on Inferno and Hellseeker are that they are more psychological horror. Hell, one of my friends pointed out to me that Inferno felt more like a Silent Hill film. Revelations feels absolutely like a back to basics approach. The scope of Revelations is smaller and more compacted. Yes, a good reason for that is due to the rushed production of it as well as the budget. But honestly, I thought it works for the film. 

    There was definitely a moment or two where I turned my head at the film. If you've seen it, you can probably guess what that'd be. I don't have many problems with horror films. But one thing that tends to get to me is when they decide to place children or babies in the line of fire. Human Centipede Part II, I look at you with what you did and never will revisit. Thankfully, that small moment happens off screen. 

    The use of found footage in the film was interesting. It does allow us an insight into the two college kids, Nico and Steven. Yeah, there's a bit of Dude Bros. douchebaggery that happens. Basically what you imagine would be. Then we are introduced to their families, the Cravens and Bradleys. They are having dinner together along with Nico's sister, Emma. They wanted to take the time to try and get along after their children disappeared on their trip. Steven returns and then chaos ensues. 

    I will say that the film does go a bit balls to the wall over the course of the film. Just remember that this isn't a long film. It's only an hour-fifteen. That's pretty damn fast. But it does have some feeling of a 'reboot' in a way. It follows some beats that are similar to what happened in the original film. But this time, it's more subpar. Honestly, I'd say that it feels like a Blue Light Special of the first film. 

    I wish I could go and say that Hellraiser Revelations is high in the franchise. I'd honestly be lying through my teeth. However, this isn't the worst. I have definitely seen worse. Is it a bad horror film? Taken it out of the franchise to rate it, I'd say no. I have definitely seen other horror films that were downright bad and just wonder how it was ever made. If I'm looking for something to throw on for background noise, I may turn to Revelations at some point. It's fine. Honestly, the cast and crew probably did the best that they could with what they were given from Miramax and Weinstein. 


Rating: 2.75 out of 5. (Fine)

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Monday, October 3, 2022

Censor (2021) - 10/03/22


    Hello everyone, Matthew here with another review at BlazinBlue's Review. Thank you for taking the time to check out this bonus review. If you are new here, thank you for taking the time to check things out. If you've been around for awhile, thank you for your support. 

    Bonus Reviews are going to happen from time to time. They are for films that I may not have necessarily planned on covering originally. And now sounds as good a time to release another - as have hit a small minor snag with Such Sights To Show You. So yeah, please excuse the technical difficulties while I work that out. 

    In the mean time, I wanted to take a moment to talk about a little film called Censor. Censor was released in 2021. When it was originally released, I remember hearing a little bit about it from word of mouth. The big takeaway was to check it out if had the opportunity. Since then, I kept my eye on it. Now if you are interested in checking the film out, I'd recommend going in blind. It honestly made for a very interesting experience that way. Be prepared this review is also going to feature spoilers. If you don't want the film spoiled, turn away now and then come back after you check out the film. The spoilers will start after the synopsis for Censor. 

For those that are interested, the synopsis is as follows: A British Film censor links a disturbing horror movie to her sister's disappearance, and vows to unravel the mystery. 

Okay, the spoilers will begin after this. For the last time, if you don't want Censor (2021) spoiled for you - turn away and come back after watching it. 

Still here? Okay. 

Censor is an experience. It's something that I honestly didn't know what was going to happen. It is a film that may not necessarily be for everyone. It has an original story. It feels different and unique. 

While the story may be unique and a bit fresh, something I did notice is that it did feel relatively similar to another horror film that had the chance of catching. Of course, I'm talking about Saint Maud. Saint Maud was a film that was delayed and then finally saw released. My partner had seen the trailer and was incredibly interested in that particular film. I went into that film with a complete open mind. And it definitely wasn't my cup of tea. 

However, Censor definitely fell into the category of my cup of tea. Video Nasties was a huge term in the 80s. There were plenty of horror films that became labelled a Video Nasty. It's something that still intrigues me. Through the early act of this film, we are able to get an idea of what a censor's job consists of. Honestly, I will admit that I never considered what that job would consist of. 

Enid is one of the best censors at their company. They take their job extremely serious. The motivation that Enid had definitely feels valid. When she was younger, her sister and her were playing in the woods. But apparently at some point, her sister disappeared. Unfortunately for Enid, it's something that she had a hard time letting go and coming to terms with. She has always been hoping that her sister would come back to her someday. So, the idea of Enid taking it upon herself to attempt a 'censor war' against the video nasties to try and help society. It's very interesting. 

The way that the story manages to play out. It's so extremely different than Saint Maud. However, we are right there alongside Enid as she is on this journey. This is a journey that very much feels like a tragic fairy tale. I would honestly akin the feeling that I was getting to something like Running Scared. (If you haven't seen Running Scared, what are you waiting for? Go check it out.) The deeper the story went, the further down the rabbit hole we went with Enid. It left me curious as to how things would play out. 

The pacing is a bit slow. I mentioned that, for some, it may not be what they were expecting. But it definitely doesn't disappoint if you give it a shot. It may not be as violent as some may expect. But there is blood. It's just all wrapped in an extremely interesting story. There is a bit of a brief subplot - it's revolving around a man arrested and claiming a horror film influenced him in committing the murder. I honestly was wondering if that would somehow manage to wrap itself around and somehow be relevant to the overall story. However, it's something that kind of overlooked. Maybe something could have been done a little more with that idea. 

I don't necessarily want to dive any deeper into the film because it's something that better going in blind. It is strongly a psychological horror as the film unfolds. Hell, by the time the ending arrived - I wasn't sure what was going on. The film literally sets us into Enid's mind. I applaud having Enid being so interesting and relatable. Strongly an Alice in Wonderland deep dark feeling. 

Rating: 4 out of 5. 

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Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Conjuringverse: The Conjuring Devil Made Me Do It - 9/29/22


    Happy Thursday Everyone! Here we are at the end of our journey of the Conjuring films. What an incredible journey it's been. 8 Films so far in this franchise. Soon, there'll be another entry with next year's The Nun 2. Personally, moving through this series the way that we have - it honestly goes to show me just how much this series has become the horror version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was a bit of a gamble in the beginning as to whether it would work. But isn't that the case with every new IP for horror or any other genre these days? And honestly, I just realized that next year, we will have spent a decade with this franchise. 

    Last year, we saw the release of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. It was the third entry in the Conjuring line of this franchise. But it was eighth film released altogether and lands last on our timeline. I remember that it was originally to be released during October of 2020. But damn Covid managed to put a kabosh on that. Instead, it was released in June of 2021. Almost an entire year later. It's honestly extremely unfortunate. There was such a hype for the film during that lead-in to the original line of marketing. It was like something in the air. You couldn't help but be excited for it. But then with the delay due to COVID, it knocked the wind out of everything. COVID managed to knock the wind out of a lot of other films as well. 

    Finally when it officially gearing up to seeing release, it just felt like there wasn't as much talk about Conjuring 3. It felt like it was missing its mark. It felt like all the hype was dying down. I know I felt the same way about Candyman 2021 originally. I covered The Devil Made Me Do It when it was thrown onto HBO Max in August of 2021. I like many others wasn't as impressed with the film. It felt like something was missing and had missed the mark. But I wouldn't consider it to be completely abysmal. I had a lot of high expectations for it. And honestly, that was a bit unfair to it. 

    Now that we are here, I'm happy that have the chance to revisit The Devil Made Me Do It. It's been a year since I had seen it last. Would it hold up? I always thought about giving it a second watch. But I never did. However with the rewatch, I definitely have some thoughts on the film. 

    Going back to my comparison of this franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Films, I would say that this absolutely begins a new Phase. With the revisiting of the films in chronological order, it has a flow to it. It's very reminiscent of the Marvel films. In Chronological Order, Valak is an extremely prominent force in the series. So with the way that The Conjuring 2 ends with Lorraine confronting Valak, it now has an even larger impact than upon initial release. It felt like things were building towards that confrontation in a way. 

    With Valak seemingly gone for now, The Devil Made Me Do It feels like the beginning of a new chapter. It's definitely not feeling like the ending chapter that's for dang sure. So being a new beginning, it attempts to do things differently. It takes the typical formula that we have grown to be accustomed to and subverts it. Oh, you're expecting the story to follow in a bit of a linear fashion? Well, nah we're not doing that. With The Devil Made Me Do It's beginning, it takes what we usually see as the third act exorcism and throws it right into the opening with The Exorcism of David Glatzel. It's a very strong opening in terms of some shock value. But the sad thing is while it has impact, it takes away from us necessarily caring about the Glatzels. Or at the very least, it lessens that connection. 

    That's part of the problem with starting the film in a different act than a traditional linear story. You are throwing your audience to the wolves in terms of playing catch up. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. However, it's a choice. 

    At this point, I'd like to say that this was the first Conjuring film itself to not be directed by James Wan. Michael Chaves had the pleasure of stepping into those big shoes of directing this endeavor. Chaves was responsible for directing The Curse of La Llorona (Don't worry, we will get there as that'll be our final entry). So, it's pretty clear that Chaves wanted to bring his own style to the table. I do wonder if Wan had directed it, would it have followed a more linear form of storytelling? 

    Also by this point, we are at the third entry in this series. By this point, you kind of have to shake things up and do things differently. I mean take a look at Elm Street, by Part 3 we had the Dream Warriors. I also would say that there's probably a good reason why it's not called The Conjuring 3, but The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. What would that reason be? I can't tell you. 

    While the previous two Conjuring films were of the typical haunted house/possession variety, this isn't that. No with this installment, we are given something different entirely. This is very much more in the form of a Procedural. There is more of a mystery to things. In the beginning, everything plays out like we have come to expect with this franchise. Possession happens and spooky things occur. But when things shift from David to Arnie, it takes a shift. On another watch, it's well known that this isn't necessarily about possession. It's about a curse. A human-made one at that. 

    This introduces The Occultist, Isla. She is the child of Father Kastner. It's supposed to be a bit of a big reveal. However when you cast John Noble as Father Kastner, there's extremely good reason for doing so. You don't use him as just a small throwaway character. At this point, we have seen so many different spirits, demons, and possessions. To see a villain that is human, it kind of subverts the expectations. In one sense, it opens the world more. Yeah, we have demons and spirits doing creepy shit. However, we also getting people doing creepy shit. 

    Why is the Occultist doing all this shit? Well, it's honestly something that's a little muddled. She was fascinated with the occult after reading through books her father had found. She took it upon herself to attempt to summon a demon and utilizing witch's totems to possess people. She promised it a soul. Thus attempting to create a curse, three murders would occur followed by three suicides. The child (Jessica), The Lover (Arnie), and Man of God (Ed) were all the targets of this curse. Unfortunately for Ed, he got thrown in once they began nosing around trying to clear Arnie. 

    One of the most fascinating things that was mentioned was that Father Kastner had helped stop a local cult. It's extremely clear that this cult would be The Disciples of Ram. Now, who are these Disciples of Ram? Well, none other than the local cult that Annabelle Higgins (Janice from Creation) had went and got herself involved in. Looking at that, it didn't necessarily feel as out of place as originally thought. 

    By this point, we had seen a lot of Patrick Wilson's Ed. He's been in the thick of things. He does whatever he needs to do to save someone. He's an extremely active member in these films. But within this story, we see him moved into the supporting role. This isn't Ed's film. We get to see Vera Farmiga's Lorraine be moved into the more active role. It definitely is an interesting shift. Both of these actors still are able to do some great work. 

    The rest of the cast are able to deliver good performances. However, it's the way that the story is set up that hinders them from delivering great performances. Once the curse is passed from David to Arnie, a lot of characters fall to the wayside. The Glatzel family outside of David and Debbie are nowhere to be seen. I get that these characters may think that Arnie did do it. However, instead of not showing them, let us see them have conflict with Debbie, whose decision is to stand by Arnie. Instead, we see them for maybe two scenes in the film before they are gone. John Noble is fantastic as Father Kastner. It didn't really feel like he phoned it in. I mean he absolutely could have used as a payday. Honestly that is one of the biggest drawbacks was we didn't necessarily get as much time with our supporting characters. It's like 1-2 scenes of interesting moments, but then the story pushes into overdrive already. 

    Overall, I would say that my experience with this film has changed. I appreciate the different things that it does. It attempted to switch things up and give us more of a procedural approach. It could have easily attempted to give us more of the same that we expected. So, I appreciate that it's different. Is the motives of the Occultist a little muddled? Yes. Do I think that things were wrapped a little too nicely? Absolutely. If I had a hand in writing this, I would have thought to have figured out a way for the Occultist to return later on. Build up the fact that there was this Anti-Lorraine out there doing the Devil's work. Kind of like how Valak was built up in previous films. Do I hope for more films? Absolutely. Would I like to see something more with the Disciples of Ram? Absolutely. Feels like there could be some untapped potential there. Do I think the film was overhyped and an absolute mess? No. I feel like it was a good turn out. There's definitely multiple different ways I could have seen it falling flat on its face completely as some other third film entries have done before. But with what we were given, it's not bad. 

Rating: 4.25 out of 5. 

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You're A Mean One: The Mean One (2022)

          Hello everyone, I hope everyone has been having a wonderful holiday season so far. It always manages to boggle my brain that it...