When Enough is Enough: Halloween II and the Curse of the Horror Sequel

When is enough enough? In an era of reboots, prequels, sequels and expanding cinematic universes, it seems that the answer is never.

Sequels have been around in some capacity for as long as mainstream cinema has existed. The golden age of horror would set the proverbial ball rolling, monsters such as Frankenstein returning time after time to meet popular demand. If something is marketable then let’s make more of it. It’s standard business practice.

Inevitably, people would tire of Universal’s revolutionary monsters and horror would become commercially passé. Still, the sequel template had […]

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Battle of the Bitches: Gender and Duality in Ridley Scott’s Alien

Before Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, mainstream heroines were a different breed entirely.

Sure, they were heroic in a more conventional way, but long before feminism became fashionable, Ripley emerged from the shadow of her male (and robotic) counterparts by overcoming perhaps the fiercest creation in all of cinema. I’m talking, of course, about the Xenomorph, H.R. Giger’s monstrously phallic creation. This article’s title refers to Alien’s marquee attraction as a Bitch, a name Ripley uses for the Xenomorph queen in James Cameron’s high-octane sequel Aliens, a movie […]

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Halloween Resurrection (2002)

Much has been made about what New Line Cinema did to the Friday the 13th franchise.

In their pursuit of a money-spinning Freddy vs Jason crossover they ignored the key ingredient of the series: simple repetition. The Friday the 13th was the first horror series to make the ‘more of the same’ concept key to its success, but with their body-swapping debut Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday all that went out of the window. Some feel their second effort Jason X was another insult to the Paramount formula, while others disagree. Whatever you may think, though it shot Jason into space and tried something novel for the most part it went back to basics and retained many of the ingredients that made the original series a success. The same can not be said about Dimension Films […]

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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Wes Craven would front some screwball productions during his time as a mainstream horror director.

Perhaps the most famous of these was sci-fi/horror mash-up Deadly Friend, the story of a pallid robotics whizz-kid who uses a microchip to Frankenstein his late girlfriend with typically dire consequences. Craven would receive widespread criticism for his efforts, particularly for a series of nightmare sequences that were distinctly at odds with […]

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