Jason Goes to Hell Review (1993)

My History With the Film:
Jason Goes to Hell came out when I was in elementary school and it was the talk of everybody. First off, having the word hell in the title made it super cool to our immature little minds. Plus everyone was talking about the ending. (SPOILER) The idea that Freddy’s glove grabs Jason’s mask was mind-blowing, especially since we all grew up going to video stores with Freddy and Jason posters and standees throughout the store. The thought that these two heavyweights would face each other one-on-one was fascinating and it kept us all discussing the hypotheticals of this face off. Would it be a cage match? Would it be at Wrestlemania? Yeah... we were excited, but not all that smart.

My first experiencing in watching Jason Goes to Hell dates back to the one sleepover I ever remember attending. I was living in Orlando, Florida and somehow a handful of us fourth graders ended up having a sleepover at someone’s house. It was the typical sleepover affair that involved pizza and us heading to the video store. We were all big wrestling fans, so we rented Thunder in Paradise as well as Jason Goes to Hell.

We got back to the kid’s house and started up Thunder in Paradise. We rented it solely because Hulk Hogan was in it, and we probably would have been better off renting a Wrestlemania tape. We spent most of the time talking wrestling and actually wrestling, and not watching the movie.

It ended around eleven and now it was time for the main event, Jason Goes to Hell. We popped that VHS tape in, turned off the lights, and crawled into our sleeping bags. Then we all proceeded to fall asleep.

Jason Goes to Hell was not the thrilling horror movie we all were looking for. In fact, it was so boring it put three elementary school kids to sleep.

I revisited Jason Goes to Hell in early 2017 while working my way through the Friday the 13th series. I didn’t find the film boring this go around, but it certainly was not what I was expecting.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
After Jason’s destruction, his evil essence is able to possess anyone that it comes in contact with.

What I Liked About It:
-The whole idea of a sole leaping body-to-body and then doing the killing was neat and would have been great for a horror movie that did not involve Jason.

-The moments when you see Jason in mirrors and such is quite effective and looks cool. Again though, this should not have been Jason but some other creature and it would have worked much better.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-This was not a Friday the 13th. It was some weird artistic attempt at making Jason unique and relevant and it did not work. It would have been better to just have Jason keep doing what he was doing which was killing people in fun ways instead of trying to make him some sort of demonic spirit who leaps body-to-body.

-The whole FBI hunting Jason and the FBI agent turning all martial arts was absurd. The movie starts off well, but once she hits her double backflip you know you are in for trouble.

Additional Notes:
-The Necronomicon from Evil Dead shows up in this film. Prop designer Tom Sullivan was not paid nor was his permission asked to use the book. Sam Raimi ultimately sent him an apology letter.

-This was New Line Cinema’s first Friday the 13th movie after securing the rights from Paramount. However, they did not have the rights to the name Friday the 13th, so the title had to be unique thus Jason Goes to Hell.

-Kane Hodder played Jason as well as a security guard and Freddy’s arm in this film.

Jason Goes to Hell is a bad movie only made worse by labeling it a Jason movie. It’s by far the most condemned film in the series, and rightfully so. Everything from the tone to the style of acting is out of character for the franchise and the film suffers because of it. In all honesty, it was one of the most difficult movies to actually sit through because of what it is.

I’d rate Jason Goes to Hell a one out of five and would recommend you avoid it.

Terrifier (2017) Review

My History With the Film:
I noticed the artwork for the Terrifier a few times on my Recommended List on Netflix. To be honest, I don’t take many of Netflix’s recommendations to heart, nor do I take a chance on much of their horror offerings. Netflix (and Amazon Prime) has become a breeding ground for unimaginative, low budget crap, so despite having a creepy looking clown on the cover, I had no intention on watching it.

But then something happened last fall over a couple of weeks. A few message boards I browse and my Twitter feed started mentioning the Terrifier. Apparently the film was pretty good, and I found myself needing to escape from life for 90 minutes so I decided to turn on the Terrifier in September 2018 and see what all the fuss was about. The movie did the trick. It’s not amazing or ground breaking, but it’s a lot of fun.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
A demented clown torments a small part of town near Halloween.

What I Liked About It:
-Art the Clown is flat out creepy. He’s a clown and a mime, and has wonderful facial expressions and creepy movements. The performance by David Howard Thorton is memorable, and if there is anything to take from this movie it’s that Art the Clown has the potential to be a horror icon and center for a horror franchise.

-The main two characters Tara (Jenna Kanell) and Dawn (Catherine) really grew on me. At first, they seemed like two cliché characters that would be killed off quickly, but over time I grew to really enjoy their interaction and friendship.

-The special effects were pretty good. They reminded me a lot of the low budget horror from the 80’s, but definitely had more polish and detail.

-I enjoyed the music. It was a little weird in spots, but it gave the film a unique feel. None of it was really memorable, but I did enjoy what was put on the screen.

What I Didn't Like About It:
-The first ten minutes of this movie are horrible. I went in blind and had no idea what the Terrifier was and if it hadn’t for the good reviews by a few trusted individuals, I would have turned it off. It’s low budget and has a grindhouse look and feel. In a way it reminded me of watching Clerks for the first time. It took a few minutes to realize that this was the look and the acting I was going to get and I needed to accept it and enjoy the show.

-This film is violent. I went into it thinking it was a simple slasher, and it is, but it’s not afraid to show you all the gore. I can see eighteen year old me absolutely loving this film for all its crazy over the top deaths, but at thirty-four I prefer my horror a little less exploitative. That’s not to say it went too far or was too out of control, but I’m a fan of less is more.

-The first two-thirds of Terrifier is really good, but without a compelling storyline to keep you watching, the chase does grow a little old after a while. If the characters had been fleshed out a little more and introduced a little earlier, it might have kept me on the edge of my seat. Instead, I sat back just waiting to see how they planned to top the previous kill.

-The supporting cast went ranged from damn good (the pizzeria owner) to downright terrible (the pizza clerk.)

Additional Notes:
-Art the Clown was introduced in the short film Terrifier (2011) and was also featured in All Hallows Eve (2013).

I read somewhere that the Terrifier was “a costume in search of a plot” and I can’t argue with that. This movie is basically one very long chase scene and there is little effort put into telling a compelling story or developing characters. And you know what? That’s okay. Not every film needs a perfect three act structure. I really enjoyed my time with the Terrifier. It’s gory and features a very memorable villain. It’s no Halloween, but in a world where we rarely see slashers anymore, I enjoyed Terrifier for what it was.

If you can tolerate some bad acting and a low budget, Terrifier is an easy recommendation from me. It’s a three out of five, and worth your time if you like slashers, clowns, or gore.

Mom and Dad Review (2017)

My History With the Film:
I first heard about Mom and Dad on Horror Movie Podcast sometime in 2018. It was described as an out of control film that really catered to Nicolas Cage’s ability to act insane. I looked for the trailer shortly after hearing this and noticed the film was a black comedy with horror elements that looked like something I might enjoy. It wasn’t a high priority to see it, but I figured I’d check it out sometime or another.

In February 2019, I was browsing Hulu and decided to finally give Mom and Dad a shot. I found myself entertained, but not overly impressed during the course of the film.

What The Film Is About (Non-Spoiler):
Something triggers parents throughout the world to suddenly have an urge to kill their children.

What I Liked About It:
-The film has one great scene where the parents are trying to get to their children at school and are being held back by a chain length fence and some police officers. It reminded me of a zombie movie, but the fact that these innocent looking parents were actually blood thirsty maniacs really created some tension, especially with children involved.

-Nicolas Cage is always great as a crazed maniac and this is no exception. His finest moment comes in a rant about becoming a middle aged man in a flashback. Too bad the lack of a decent plot really made this scene completely irrelevant. Still, it’s Nic Cage ranting about getting ear and nose hair.

-Lance Henriksen… need I say more?

What I Didn't Like About It:
-Almost all of the deaths occurs off screen or are very minor. The budget for gore was obviously limited, however the couple of times it is used it was used well.

-The film spent too much time trying to create a story worth caring about and it fails horribly. Once the movie finally gets going and the craziness ensues, the film is much better off. Sometimes you just gotta know when to say, “This film is just about screwed up stuff and let us show it and allow people to enjoy it without trying to make them feel attached.”

Additional Notes:
-Second film with director Brian Taylor and Nicolas Cage, the first being Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

-Some of the school scenes were shot in Louisville, Kentucky.

-Nicolas Cage said this was his favorite movie in ten years that he had filmed.

-Comic writer Grant Morrison makes a cameo.

Mom and Dad wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t good either. I’d rate it a two out of five and say it’s a rental if you are a huge Nic Cage or Selma Blair fan, and to skip it otherwise.