By: Justin Hopkins
It’s that wonderful time of year again. Where one can binge watch all of the scary movies one desires without people thinking their nuts. Not that is an issue. Some of the best movies and awesome female heroes come from the horror genre. As well as some of the most passionate fan base. With eleven days remaining and so many to watch; question becomes which movies to start with. Allow me to help, with my personal to 14 horror movies to watch before Halloween.
14 Silent Hill
By Video Game to Movie standards Silent Hill is a rare gem. The change from the male to female was a brilliant move. Radha Mitchell was great as Rose and the scene where she was chasing the girl through town and surrounded by monster was ripped entirely from the game it was based off of. Monsters were scary, inhabitants were unpredictable, and savage kill from the infamous Pyramid Head. Throw in the amazing Jodelle Ferland who played the innocence and horrifying sides of Alessa and this movie earned its spot on the list.
13 Childs Play
This year marked the return of Andy Barclay to the childs play world. No better time to return to how it all began. Watch how Charles Lee Ray became the good guy doll and turn Andy’s life into a nightmare. Throw in one of the great deaths as Dinah Manoff took a two story plunge.
12 Jeepers Creepers
I remember watching this as a kid, and terrified by the fact the monster won in the end. Creeper being an unstoppable force who was relentlessly pursued his victims. Gina Phillips and Justin Long had excellent chemistry and Johnston Breck etched his name into horror movie lore.
11 The Birds
The most unsettling part of this Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece was the lack of a score. Without the hints of sounds cues to warn you. The violence and bird attacks catch you by surprise, and by the end leaves the audience in suspense over whether they’ll truly be safe again.
10 The Exorcist
What can one say about an all time great. The possessed Linda Blair scared an entire generation senseless. Everyone brought their best and delivered.
Despite the decades and all the different displays. None have topped that first chest burster scene. Alien set the bar in Sci-fi horror and gave rise to a phenomenal female hero Ellen Ripley.
Steven Spielberg took a rather common phobia and made it a rampant one. This was a freight filled roller coaster that didn’t let up till the end.
7 Friday the 13th part 2
As good as the first was, Halloween needs its Jason and part 2 is the way to go. The old school grunge feeling gives it a good charm and seeing Jason before his Hockey mask is an interesting change of pace.
An underrated horror movie in every facet of the word, with a powerful message of the dangers of seeking vengence. Lance Hendricks brought emotional turmoil as a Father desperate to seek vengence against those he blamed for his son’s death. Yet, discovered it came with a terrible price. Meanwhile Pumpkinhead is a everything on can want in a monster. Towering over his enemies and nothing can save his targets from his wrath.
5 The Omen
Down to the top 5 and in comes a classic. Showing a royal families decent into chaos and death as Gregory Peck struggling to find out what really happened the night his son died and if the child he was raising was really the Anti-Christ.
Robin Williams showed the world a genie that was helpful, fun loving jokester. Andrew Divoff reminded us why we should fear them. Performance was up there with the best. Intimidating and suave. Using people’s desires and wants against them and all they had to do was ask. Victims list read like a whose who of legendary horror actors including Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and more.
3 Nightmare on Elm Street part 3
The first Nightmare was nearly perfect and this one was even better. Freddy once again going after the kids of the parents who killed him. Heather Langenkamp return as Nancy. Helping them learn their dream powers to fight off Krueger once and for all. With Robert Englund knowing Freddy so well by this point, able to flesh him out even more. Making this nightmare the one to scare you thus year.
2 Halloween Part 4
Kind of kneeling to tradition by putting Halloween on this list. Skip the cliche of the first and enjoy Part 4 instead.
1 John Carpenter’s The Thing
Hands down, The Thing is perfect for Halloween movie. Kurt Russell and Keith David at their finest. Claustrophobic, psychological, gory, jump scares and everything else included. The shocking finale leaving you in wonder and awe of the horror you watched. Making it the best horror movie of all time.
As with any list, this is purely opinionated, and that’s the best part. Hope my list can lead you to movies you haven’t seen yet. By all means comment your favorites in the comments. On that note, going to wrap it up with honorable mentions. All great picks, but borderline other genes to much to be included in this list.
Honorable Mentions: Predator – Aliens – Resident Evil Vendetta
By: Justin Hopkins
This past week was a great week for TV, as the Arrowverse has returned. Supergirl kicked things off Monday. Flash and DC Legends of Tomorrow followed on Tuesday, with Arrow premiering last night. Proving once again that the Arrowverse is DCs best. In each show you see actors actresses who give their all for their characters. Getting emotions, laughs, and awesome action sequences. This may be a ranked list, but even the show in last was still pretty good. That said, coming in at number 4
4. The Flash
Grant Gustion has been spectacular as Barry Allen. Everyone has been stellar, but this episode was kind of generic. Presenting an enemy that Cisco and Wally can’t stop. Who is demanding The Flash or hell destroy the city. Leaving them to have to bring Caitlin back to save Barry from the speed force prison. Who comes back crazed from his time there and the only thing to snap him out was when Iris was in jeopardy. By the numbers right up to the final fifteen minutes.
By showing Caitlin having trouble keeping Killer Frost persona under check and introducing The Thinker as the one behind the Samari and it was his goal to bring back The Flash. Having just with to save the episode from irrelevance.
This show had it all going for it. Supergirl in a dark depression over having sent away Mon El. Superman telling her how strong she was for making a choice he couldn’t have actually tore her down more then it helped. Doing everything in her power to live only as supergirl. No longer wanting to be Kara. Going all the way to quitting her job as reporter. Meanwhile her friends were tying to give her space. Alex growing nervous over her wedding, and learning it’s her Dad can’t walk her down the aisle. Creating a heartwarming moment when she asked J’onn J’onzz to do so.
The story was so well handled. Really believed National City was in trouble for a moment. Loved J’onn being the one to get through to Kara. With villain Edge and the newest Kryptonian starting to gain power. Set up to be remarkable season of Supergirl.
2. DC Legends of Tomorrow
This is hands down my personal favorite show in the Arrowverse. Great ensemble of characters that are fun and deep. Feeling like a family. Masterful turn for Rory from villain to Anti-hero. Coming off a great cliffhanger and promise of Constantine to appear later. Was definetly hyped and loved episode one.
Turning Rip into a bit of an adversary was a stroke of genius. Appearing as head of the Time Bureau to clean up the anarchism. Disbanding the legends entirely. The split showed them failing at moving on, and when Rory bumps into Julius Caesar in Aruba. They jumped at the chance to reunite and show Rip they deserve their jobs back. Stealing the Waverider and set out to put Caesar back. Making one slip that proved costly. Yet when the Time Bureau walked into a trap. They were quick to jump in and save the day.
This show keeps improving. The team keeps improving with laughs and emotions. Lining up to perhaps build up more chemistry between Sara and Rory. With Rip and Agent Sharp proving to be more of a roadblock. Holding back important information on an impeding danger. This may well outshine the rest, and missed out the number one slot by an eyelash.
The patriarch of the Arrowverse has seen it’s fair share of lows and highs throughout its run. Coming off a finale that showed helplessly watching the island blow up with his team on it. Season six had to hit on an emotionally charged one. Giving us just that and a shocker of an end.
Opening with Oliver taking down Faust, back in Star City. Using their flash back method to tell who died and who survived. Oliver’s grief and desperate search of the devastated island. Deathstroke leading him to his comatose sister. Samantha stumbling over. Surviving just long enough for him to promise to be a Father to his son. Everyone else survived, but Diggle is so shaken up he unable to hold his gun, William blaming Ollie for his Mother’s Death, and Ollie torn up by grief of his Sister. Also alive and gunning for vengence is the Black Siren after being shot and left for dead by Quentin. Show lining up to end on a happy note of hope between Oliver and William when they dropped a bomb, in the form of the news showing a picture of Oliver dressed as the Green Arrow.
An explosive, emotional roller coaster of a way to kickstart the sixth season. Leaving us to wonder who saved Laurel and what will happen now that his secret has been exposed.
The Arrowverse is alive and exciting as ever. Plenty of room to grow. Can’t wait to see how they all play out.
By: Justin Hopkins
Four years removed from an actual successful trip to straight-to- dvd Curse of Chucky. Cult of Chucky follows in its footsteps. Picking up four years later. Bringing back not only Fiona Dourif’s Nica Pierce, but also Child’s Play alumni Alex Vincent’s Andy Barclay. Was a little worried sitting down to watch. Thinking Curse may have been a fluke. Proving me wrong in a hurry though. Sticking to its horror roots, with graphic murders and dark humor. Adding an immense psychological thriller edge. Leaving you holding your breath. Trying to piece together what was going on, but stayed ahead until the stunning conclusion.
Beginning with Andy. Showing his date failing due to his dark past. Seeing him return home, where he was living in seclusion, with Chucky’s mutilated head, still alive, to torture. Meanwhile, after years of intense and electro therapy. Nica is transferred to a medium security institution. Caving to the belief that she had killed her family. Kind of cliche that the shrink would bring in a Good Guy Doll, but then Tiffany brings one in, and another shows up. Bodies begin to mount up quickly, and Nica starts to question everyone and everything around her. Whether she’s crazy or not, and if she’s not, then which doll, is a doll, and which is Chucky. With Andy racing to the rescue and more and more questions piling up. Blossoming into a shocking conclusion. With a Cameo from Summer H. Howell’s Alice and the Tiffany Doll from Bride and Seed of Chucky.
The settings were perfect in their simplicity. Majority taking place withing the institution. The pristine white wall and sanitary surfaces. Creating a sense of claustrophobia and distortion, despite being bigger then what it appeared. Subtly adding to the psychological aspect of how alone and outnumbered Nica was. To the confinement and tense atmosphere of the Psychiatrist’s Office and Patient’s Rooms.
The supporting cast did a wondeful job in the back. Zak Santiago, Elisabeth Rosen, Grace Lynn Kung, and the rest of the patients made you care enough to feel for them when their deaths come up. While you enjoyed seeing the Psychiatrist Michael Therriault get what was coming to him. Alec Vincent seemlessly stepped back into the role of Andy, and Brad Dourif added another awesome addition to voicing Chucky. Jennifer Tilly was fun to see. The real star of this movie was Fiona Dourif.
She nailed it as Nica in Curse and leapt leaps and bounds in Cult. Sucking you in to her world and made the audience feel every once of emotions she went through. Cheering her on when she got into trouble and despite the circumstances behind it; was delighted to see her get her vengence on her perverted, villainous Doctor. Showing she was a great addition and fully capable of carrying the film with her into the future.
Hats off to Don Mancini and everyone involved. The plot could have been a circus and ended in disaster and phoned it in, but produced a fantastic sequel, with plenty of room to keep going into the future. Check it out now on Netflix or Dvd.
By: Justin Hopkins
And that is the end of the 2017 MLB regular season, and what a second half we had. From thrilling finishes, records falling, and heartbreaking losses. An exciting way to cap an epic season, and no better way to start this blog, then with the records.
For the sixth time since 1942, three teams have finished with over a hundred wins; Cleveland Indians 102-60, L.A. Dodgers 104-58, and Houston Astros 101-61. While Houston seeks it’s first ever World Series win and the Cleveland Indians 22 undefeated streak well documented. The L.A. Dodgers hit a few roadblocks after the all-star game. Becoming the first team to not only win 15 out of 16, but lose 15 of 16. While we’re on the topic of 100. The Minnesota Twins are the first team to make the playoffs a year after losing over a hundred (59-103)
Homeruns were leaving the park at an all time high. Aaron Judge setting the Rookie marker with 52 homeruns and in the process took Babe Ruth’s record in Yankee Stadium with 33. If he can get his strikeouts down, 208, they won’t be the only homerun records he takes in his bright future.
On the National side, Giancarlo Stanton lead the league with 59 homers. Sparking the conversation over whether he should get the NL MVP, but in my opinion, that honor should go to Charlie Blackmon. Capturing the record for leadoff RBIs. Without his massive contribution the Rockies may not have been able to hold off the charging Brewers. He is a major reason Colorado is going to the post season for the first time since 2009, and that’s the sole definition of Most Valuable Player.
The hungry Chicago Cubs out to prove they are not a flash in the pan, pulled it together to win the National League Central, and the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees in a highly contested America League East. First time Boston won back-to-back Division titles since Divisional Era began in 1969.
The season may be over, but the most exciting part is set to begin. Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, L.A. Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Colorado Rookies have all punched their tickets to the post season. Minnesota visiting New York gets us started tomorrow night. Where anything can happen and only one can take home the glory. This post season has lined up the a highly competitive, explosive post season.
By: Justin Hopkins
This past Sunday, we saw the monster of men, Braun Strowman fall short of defeating the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar at No Mercy. In a decent back and forward match, that coulr have been much better, but what is more pressing, is what happens next.
As we saw on Monday Night Raw. He’s still rampaging his way through the locker room, and he shouldn’t be. Over with the crowd and immensely talented in-ring performer, but unless they are going to pull the trigger, no reason for him to keep chasing Brock. Especially since the Intercontinental Title may be a better suit.
First look at the current Champion. The Miz has just been a top tier talent on both Smackdown and Raw. Ability to talk has been second to none and in ring matches have all been good. Miztourage adding more to the conniving heel, whose been aiding him every step of the way, but that wouldn’t work against Braun. Rendering them helpless to stop The Monster of Men. The match would be easily 4 stars or higher, that would see Braun leave victorious.
The Intercontinental Belt has slowly regaining its once prestigious status as workhorse title. A title that was used to test the potential behind a superstar’s ability to carry a title on a main event level. Everything that he needs.
He’s never held a title. At one point he is going to make a dominate Universal Champion. Perhaps not a good first title reign. Make sure he can handle the responsibilities added by a title, and continue to draw the crowds.
Braun Strowman is too talented to carry on without a belt. Does things in the ring half his size do, can last forever in the ring, and the moment his entrance song his. People are on their feet knowing someone is going to get a beating. The Intercontinental Belt is almost screaming to be put on him.
By: Justin Hopkins
The much hyped for sequel for the surprise 2014 hit, The kingsman The Golden Circle hit theaters this past Friday. Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and plenty more returned. To avenge the attack on them and save the world, from the villainous Julianne Moore, with the help of newcomers Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry, and Pedro Pascal, and have to say. Wasn’t to impressed.
Movie started out with Eggsy getting attacked by Charlie and hired guns. Resulting in an exciting fight and car chase. Which was actually a rouse to get his robotic arm in place and find everyone’s address. Allowing drug kingpin, Poppy, to fire missiles at them. Clearing the way for her to taint her drugs with a virus and hold the world hostage till the president legalized drugs and allow her to rejoin society. Which brought up the question should it matter if drug addicts die. While Eggsy and Merlin go to the US and get help from The Statesman.
This was all fine and would have made a great movie, but then they brought in the resurrected Harry. This not only overloaded an already full story, but spit in the face of his emotional demise in the first movie. Instead of focusing on the other characters they gave us a stupid explanation for his survival, but a pointless side story that went nowhere, and stole screen time from the others, and Channing Tatum was barely there. Which made his use in the trailer a waste.
Besides that, there was a lot of fun moments. Pedro Pascal’s fight scenes were excellent. Taron Egerton was on par, and when Merlin was singing Country Road, while he stood on the land mine, before sacrificing himself will live with us for years to come, and my god I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Elton John was straight up epic. Was so unbelievably funny. Every time you think he’s done, he’d come right back in true style, and his music was perfectly used.
Went in expecting more then what I got. Just to much going on and bogged down the flow at times. I don’t suggest seeing this in theaters, but definetly catch it on DVD. Has some good action and fight sequences. Plus plenty of laughs to boot.
By: Justin Hopkins
With everything going on in the world of sports; all eyes were on the Cleveland Indians. The defending American League champions, were already well on their way to the playoffs, before August 24, when they embarked on a historic 22 game win streak.
So much about this feat is impressive. May have missed out on the 1916 New York Giants 26 game streak, that included a tie, this was the closest a team came since the 2002 Oakland Athletics at 20. Can easily argue the tribe was the greatest.
They outscored their opponents 142-37, Seven shutouts, and three of the teams were always difficult division rivalries. Went from simply leading their Division, to leading the American League. All of this is impressive and should be a cherished accomplishment. What came next however; was far more impressive.
After a team goes on an extended run like that. A single loss can not only be a setback, but can derail a team. Seen it in 2007 with the Colorado Rookies. Batting, pitching, fielding or all of the above can hit a wall. Team runs out of momentum and fizzles out. Let the Indians turned right back around and beat the Kansas City Royals, 3 games to 4.
This is the sign of a winning team. They had a very special run and all eyes watched. I’m sure they were sad to see it end, but struggled the loss off, and went right back to work. Pitching is lights out. Dangerous hitters that can run up a score and as we saw with win 22. Down one with one strike out remaining and tied the game. They can perform under pressure.
Vegas has recently released the odds on favorite to win the World Series, and Cleveland Indians are leading, and they have earned that recognition on their way to become one of the most dangerous teams going into the playoffs.
By: Justin Hopkins
Season 21 of South Park has finally arrived. Following Season 20’s politically charged, member berries, and internet trolls. Saying they would go back to standalone episodes instead of season long stories. Stirring a little controversy when the synopsis showed it would revolve around protestors with tiki torches and confederate flags. That they still had politics in their sights.
The main storyline took a quick turn with Darryl and the rednecks protesting technology such as Amazon, Siri, and Google for taking their jobs. Randy opposing them since their constant waving of the confederate flag was tarnishing his use of the name for his newest gig; White People Renovating Houses. Political message being a subtle metaphor. Which is where Matt and Trey do their best work.
Metaphor coming from a load barring wall in Darryl’s House being at the heart of his fear of changing. That everything he knew would fall apart if he changed. Which Randy would help him achieve.
Of course, one storyline thread from Season 20 had to be addressed, and that was the relationship between Cartman and Heidi. Which showed the kids being kids again, and Eric returning to his old devious way. Twisting the conversations between them in his mind to make him the victim of verbal abuse, and break up being her fault.
Loved the start of this season. Matt and Trey are geniuses at making great comedy with real life lessons behind it. Brilliance shows why they are up to season 21 and going strong. Do yourselves a favor and check it out if you haven’t, cause it was a fun episode to lead off the new run.
By: Justin Hopkins
Last Saturday marked a fun little occasion for me. Besides seeing the phenomenal re-telling of Steven Kings it. For those who don’t know, Movie Pass is a subscription service that allows you to see any standard movie, one time a day for 10 dollars a month. Using a card they send and the app. Simply check in at the theater. They’ll load the card and have the thirty minutes to pay for it.
Going in I was a little worried about it. Seeing all of the people’s negative reviews and issues they have had. Fact my card status on the app read shipped. Lingering question that I couldn’t find in their extensive FAQ section. Going to the theater, having no idea if it would work or not. However, once I went to check in, everything fell into place and worked like a charm.
For those wondering how to activate the card. Moment you check in. They asked for the last four digits of the movie pass card, which will activate the card, and start the thirty minute clock. Which can be cancelled with a simple click of a button if your not ready or got to leave.
Even the negative I have to say isn’t much of a negative. It’s extremely difficult to get ahold of customer support, but can understand why. Their numbers have blown up since the price change. Even a slight delay in shipping my card. They are working to bring in more help, but it’s a problem that’ll obviously take time to sort out. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to use, and the App answers alot of potential questions.
I’m thrilled with my first experience with Movie Pass. For someone who goes to the theater two times a month, or more. This will be a huge relief financially, while the theater still makes out through concessions. For movie lovers everywhere who are on the ropes about it; couldn’t suggest it more. Works as easily as it claims, working through MasterCard, which means it’ll be accepted in most places, and you won’t be disappointed.
By: Justin Hopkins
Sure to form, 27 years after the first, It has made it triumphant debut to the big screen. Being that It has already taken down several records for horror movies, Steven King movies, and September releases, and tracking for a hundred million dollar opening weekend. Safe to say it’s a financial triumph for New Line, and sitting at 89 on rotten tomatoes, it’s a critical one as well, and in my opinion; was an incredibly fantastic movie.
Where this movie really excelled for me was how the story was constructed and unfolded. From taking classic scenes such as where Georgie fatal encounter with Pennywise in the catch basin, Beverly’s bathroom scene, and when Ben was caught by the bullies. They added details and depth. Made them more psychological and greatly improved them. Each of the characters in their own right got plenty of time to flesh out and add to them. The seven felt like real kids, who were trusted into the fight for their lives, and alone in doing so. Surrounded by adults who either forced themselves to turn a blind eye to the evils going on around them, or had gone mad themselves in all of it. Which is classic Steven King style writing.
The kid actors and actress all came in and blew all expectations away. Sophia Lillis was stellar as Beverly Marsh. Heart and conscious of the group. Showing bravery and willingness to stand up for them, then made you feel her sorrow and desperate silent pleas of help due to being at the mercy of her father. Jaeden Lieberher was golden as Billy. His desperate search for his brother in the hopes of him still being alive, and his performance alongside Jackson Roberts Scott was both heart wrenching and terrifying as that Jackson made for one hell of a scary kid. Jeremy Ray Thomas, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff rounded out the other five and could go on and on about how good each were. They were the perfect cast to have and friendship that radiated off the screen, but before I close, have to mention the lead bully, Nicholas Hamilton’s Henry Bowers. He was such a stand out character for how despicable character he was, his downslide to psychotic was compelling and mesmerizing, as the scenes between him and his Father were some of the most powerful in the movie.
The million dollar question going in was how would Bill Skarsgard compare to the massive shoes left behind by Tim Curry. An unfair question to the young actor, but an inevitable one. Bill owned the character of Pennywise from the opening sequence. Loved the mannerisms and constant movements. Everything about him was creepy and deranged. Loved the prosthetics and make up. His interactions with the kids was off the charts with peril and intensity. Not only matching curry but for my money, far surpassed him.
This is the reason behind remakes. To take a classic and make it so much more. Everyone involved knew they had to deliver and brought it and then some. They story was more fulfilling and upped the gore without over doing it. The scares were earned and psychologically charged roller coaster. Felt like you watched a real classic and am excited for part 2.