Although it's too similar to the first movie and not as different as the third, CHILD'S PLAY 2 has its genuine slasher moments.
MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE's a mess. But a creepy one about the horrors of neglected mental illness.
Ten slasher recommendations worthy of your Halloween marathons this season
1982's THE SLAYER is a Video Nasty, and it's not amazing, but it's so much more, too.
The endlessly unnerving SLEEPAWAY CAMP was more ambitious than other slashers, opting to take on psychological damage and gender roles.
URBAN EXPLORER's not a good movie, but it has plenty of things to say about how we sometimes choose to hide the past rather than confront it.
One of the best intertextual horror films out there: a deconstructionist look at the slasher sub-genre.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 6: “Blood Drive”
Directed by Mary Wigmore
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the previous episode, “Chanel Pour Homme-Icide” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The Hand” – click here
At the CURE Institute life goes on, though not exactly well. Dirty blood, all because of Chanel #3 (Billie Lourd) recycling the stuff they mopped up. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis), ever the businesswoman, has Chanel #1 (Emma Roberts) organising a blood drive. That’ll likely bring some new drama to the hospital.
We get more on Ingrid Hoffel (Kirstie Alley), whose sister was Ms. Bean – the Chanels maid from Season 1 at the sorority house. She wants revenge on those “little bitches” and she’s kept tabs on them since they were released after the whole Red Devil mess. Now, the blood drive might allow Hoffel a bit of cover to do her dirty work. The drive is now a contest, the winner getting a trip to Blood Island; actually a terrifying, war torn island full of awful insects and other gross things.
Lots of good dialogue here out of Brad Falchuk’s writing, as Chanel quips to Cathy about her “semi–damp orifice” and Cathy talks sly about Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) with his big dick, suggesting Chanel and most of her generation already have or expect to get HPV. A totally hilarious back and forth between these two, as Brock finds himself literally stuck in the middle. In other news, Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer) wants to use the blood drive for her own investigation into the “baby in the belly” from ’85, so that they might figure things out amongst the hospital staff.
Poor Dr. Holt has more problems than just with Chanel v. Cathy. His hand replacement continues acting up, playing a knife game with himself under stress. Brock wants Chanel to get a massive STD test before they get together, even though he’s a walking hard-on. Also, Ingrid warns Brock that getting closer to Chanel could be very bad for him.
And Hester (Lea Michele), oh Hester – she’s extremely bored. When she gets bored, she gets murderous. So it’s either find her a job, something to do all day, or a few people are going to die. Chanel goes to Munsch, landing Hester a bit of a trial period job. This involves diagnosing a guy named Brandon Sathmary (August Emerson), who’s a vampire. He has the teeth, his skin burns in the sun. He’s got a reflection, but he drinks blood “like iced tea” he gets from some creep at the Red Cross.
On an on goes the blood drive, all the new Chanels give their donations, plus #5 (Abigail Breslin) is sucked just about dry. #1 is only concerned about getting to “bone down with Dr. Hot” on Blood Island. Back at the hospital, Munsch is lurking around the blood donations. She finds #1’s packet. But the Green Meanie is also lurking, right behind her. Only to vanish into the dark without a sound. Now, the Meanie knows what Chanel is up to.
The next day, Munsch brings Dr. Holt, Hoffel, and Chanel in for the news: #1 has all the STDS; all of them. “There was a crab just floating in the sample,” Ingrid claims. Oh, my. The games Cathy likes to play. This doesn’t only ruin #1 and Brock’s plans together, sexually and otherwise. It also puts Munsch at top of the list for the blood drive. No more Blood Island for Chanel. A hilarious “O Fortuna” scene with Chanel v. Cathy in the strangest yet fucking riotous moment perhaps ever on the show. The look Brock gives Chanel then Cathy is worth a whole episode of laughs. I honestly cried, that’s how hard I laughed. Amazing scene.
Hester believes she’s diagnosed Brandon. An incurable disease, but the blood drinking is all in his head. She tells him a story about binge eating Ring Dings. Her aunt helped with a bit of Ring Ding aversion therapy, which Hester now plans to use on the vampire. Only he needs lots and lots because he’s obviously been enjoying the stuff way too much.
Oh, and Chanel, she robs herself a bunch of blood to boost the stats for her personal drive. When she goes to deposit them there’s none in her cooler. Leading away from it are drops of blood, and you just know where those are going, right? Hester’s been blood cooking: soup, sausage, tons of different dishes for Brandon. This puts Chanel awfully behind, and even though Munsch wants to be ahead she’s more hoping to put Hester back in a crazy cage.
In other news, Zayday tries keeping her investigation from Chamberlain Jackson (James Earl). He knows that she believes it’s him. He also knows all kinds of what’s going on, he’s a smart guy. We already know that Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner) is the son of Jane (Trilby Glover), but could there be more to it? We know there’s always more than meets the eye on Scream Queens.
#9 is getting tapped for blood against her will, as #1 needs someone to milk other than #5. But when Dr. Holt appears, #1 runs off to try telling him she doesn’t have “sexual Ebola” or “vaginal Zika” and wants him to give her another chance, to prove herself. But he needs the proof. Then, as expected, #9 gets a visit from the Green Meanie. He’s gonna do a few tests, too. Until Ingrid walks in. She wants to help. And when she asks the Meanie to take off the mask, he does: it’s Cascade. They strike up a deal – the Meanie keeps killing, Hoffel gets the Chanels to herself. Yowzahs. Two sickos. However, Cascade reveals he didn’t kill all the victims. Someone else is posing as the Meanie, as well. Now this is very interesting.
Hester’s trolling for blood. She wants to treat the vampire, to escape a cell again when Munsch sends her packing. In the cooler, she comes across Chamberlain, and discovers tainted blood. Oh, no. Is she planning on doing what I think?
Meanwhile, #9 is found dead, drained of all her blood. She’s a deflated football, essentially. “At some point this swamp is gonna be like 90% dead bodies,” Munsch says. She’s convinced Hester is the culprit. When they talk to her, she’s upstairs using Chanel’s supposedly STD-ridden blood.
But the reveal is Hester tested it: no STDs. A-ha, Munsch! You got got. Not only is #1 clean, she’s also winner of the blood drive, on her way to Blood Island. Except there’s issues with the flight, Chanel only goes charter. Then she decides she’ll take cash, and Ingrid’s plans are spoiled.
Chamberlain is proving himself useful to Zayday, as he winds up getting some of Jane’s saliva through a bit of food trickery. Plus, he’s AB+ and can’t be the baby in the belly. The baby, he’s O+, and he’s also a god damn doctor. Cassidy switches up the stickers on his blood, throwing the trail off a bit. This puts Dr. Holt in the firing line. Zayday and Chamberlain bring their findings to Munsch, although there’s no way the “ridiculously handsome” Brock can’t be young enough to be the baby.
There are worse things happening behind the curtain of Holt. His hand, that transplant, it is devious. I wonder what that’ll bring eventually. Down in the basement there’s more madness, with Cascade giving Ingrid her very own Green Meanie mask, bringing the tally of Meanies to three. And who’s the other one? How long until they’re revealed?
A solid episode. Just a ton of great writing; witty, outright hilarious, and mysterious stuff. Can’t wait for “The Hand” next time.
The original night of Valentine's Day terror, when the '80s was getting full into the swing of horror. A true slasher classic.
Craven's influential, innovative slasher took horror to a new level in the '90s.
The sweet revenge of a man left for dead comes at the end of a sharp, shiny hook.
FOX’s Scream Queens
Season 2, Episode 4: “Halloween Blues”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a review of the previous episode, “Handidates” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” – click here
After the bloody events of Chanel Oberlin’s (Emma Roberts) would-be wedding to Chad Radwell ended with his death, she weeps over the body, as everyone wonders exactly what’s happened. Cathy Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) is of course ready for the whirlwind of another serial killer in her midst. Denise Hemphill (Niecy Nash) continues with her conspiracy theories, as everybody goes a little mad. #5 (Abigail Breslin) oversteps her boundaries and sets Chanel off on a rant against them before being carted off in a fit of madness. Taking the lead is Denise, but can she be trusted? I’m not saying she’s a murderer, though she is completely god damn foolish. We do get a window into Chad and Denise’s roleplaying, involving some Brokeback Mountain stuff. Weeeeird.
So Denise dresses like Mrs. Chad Radwell for Halloween. She and Munsch go to see the Lecter-ish Hester Ulrich (Lea Michele), who spouts mostly ominous bullshit.
Everybody gets together for Chad’s will – his family died on the way trying to stop him from marrying Chanel. Haha, dig it. Turns out that Chad – in sound mind and “bitchin‘ body” – leaves his estate to Cathy Munsch. Wow. And he changed it just before dying. Hmm, coincidence? Red herring? Either way, Chanel absolutely flips out, charging at the accountant reading the will before beating the shit out of him a bit.
But there’s still Chanel-O-Ween! She decides to send out terrifying gifts this year to separate herself from the masses: “For my disgusting hippo fans.” And they positively eat it up to ridiculous lengths.
In other news, Dr. Brock Holt (John Stamos) checks Chanel out, she’s not feeling so hot. From mind to body. Can’t be nice having another serial killer in her life. Is it Dr. Holt? Or maybe the literally dead Dr. Cassidy Cascade (Taylor Lautner)? No telling for sure, not yet.
At home Chanel wakes up after taking the colloidal silver Brock gave her for a rash on her leg – to find her skin is blue. As if things couldn’t get any worse for the rich white girl.
The night before Halloween, Denise is setting up decorations on one of the hospital’s floors at the nurse station. Then the power goes out. Uh oh, Mrs. Chad Radwell! In the darkness of a nearby room the Green Meanie comes at her. They tussle a bit, but you know Denise can kick some ass, boy. She gives the Meanie a run for his money, eventually pulling a gun. Although the green killer makes off without taking a bullet. This sends Denise to get Hester: she’ll be wearing an anklet for the Halloween party, then later she has to give up the killer’s identity. Even gets a Jason Voorhees mask to put on. Denise then hilariously goes on to mix up Michael Myers as being played by Mike Myers, y’know, after Wayne’s World. Love her and love the dialogue the writers give her.
Lots of shade thrown around between Chanel and Denise, as they stand toe to toe in their costumes. And again, more of the roleplay between Denise and Chad – this time, American Beauty. Christ, this episode is awesome and funny, too! Lots of movie references flying around usually. This episode is on another level, and doing so wisely.
Finally, Chanel goes to see Holt about her tinted skin. He says there’s no cure. Yikes! Well right now Holt also has himself an alibi, he can’t be the killer – he was boning Munsch while Chad was killed. Holy christ, Cathy gets around, doesn’t she? Good on you, ma’am. But now Chanel is taking off, sick of all the bad luck she’s immersed in. Then someone in an Ivanka Trump outfit turns up, silent, trying to murder her. No change in that luck. Oh, and it’s Hester underneath that mask. Where’d she get it, though?
Tsk, tsk, tsk. #5 is outed now. Zayday (Keke Palmer) and #3 (Billie Lourd) reveal they helped #5 find herself an Ivanka Trump costume earlier in the day. GASP! COULD IT BE? Nah, we know the truth. However, everybody turning on #5 – more so than usual – isn’t any good. It doesn’t look good having her left all alone, especially during the Halloween party. Chanel warns her plainly: “If you show up to that party, we‘ll kill you.”
October 31st hits and the party is on. Zayday is Isis – no, not like caliphate-style, like the Egyptian goddess. Again, hilarious! Then#5 turns up as Ivana Trump, not Ivanka. They make a super funny and kinda disturbing point about the Donald and his daughter. Then there’s the fact Ivana is still wandering around, Hester in disguise. She disappears through the halls when a Halloween party full of people turn up puking and going crazy. Seems that they were bobbing for apples and ergot (a fungus) was growing on them, making people quite sick. Although, Zayday doesn’t believe that diagnosis from Dr. Holt, she challenges him.
Meanwhile, Denise and Chanel are conducting a Ouija board ceremony, fighting over the dead Chad Radwell. He event contacts Chanel over his goat, the one he keeps for milk – being lactose intolerant and all. He also tells Chanel he loved Denise more than her, but doesn’t quite get to tell her about the killer before everyone rushes off somewhere.
And all alone is #5 just as I suspected. As if Ivana Trump hasn’t been through enough married to Donald all those years. Eventually Ivana comes across Ivanka. Hester doesn’t kill #5. She lets the Green Meanie do it instead. Ohhhhh shit.
With the help of a girl dressed as Snow White, Zayday and the others figure out what happened at the party. She saw the Green Meanie changed out the apple bobbing water: the water got dosed, as I suspected again, with DMT. Yowzahs, very wild. Anyways, things are settled at the hospital. For the time being. But maybe the Meanie didn’t want to kill him. Perhaps he needed “a distraction,” as Zayday notes. Now, there’s trouble.
Denise comes across a stabbed #5, and once more she’s also confronted with the Green Meanie. The killer tosses a punch bowl all over Denise before shocking her with some paddles. Is she dead, or can her heart take it?
An awesome, exciting episode. Really dig this season so far. Next up is “Chanel Pour Homme-icide” and I bet we’ll get more Hester, too! Can’t wait.